Body ‘every hour’ in deadliest West Bank raid since 2005




JENIN: Around four tyre fires belching black smoke, Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in Jenin on Thursday in the deadliest army raid the occupied West Bank has seen since 2005.
The Palestinian city, a militant stronghold and the site of frequent army raids, was rocked by dozens of explosions as Israeli armoured vehicles tore through the streets, fighting running battles with Palestinian gunmen using assault rifles and pipe bombs.
AFP reporters saw one masked militant lying bloody on the pavement, as another took his rifle to fire towards Israeli positions.
Another three were seen to be wounded, while AFP counted five bodies in a nearby hospital morgue, where weeping relatives kept vigil over the deceased.
The Palestinian health ministry said 14 were killed in the raid, with the violence continuing until Thursday evening, making it the deadliest single incursion in the West Bank since 2005, according to United Nations records.
Four more were killed elsewhere in the West Bank on Thursday, the health ministry said, putting the toll of Palestinians killed in the West Bank by Israeli fire on in settler attacks since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7 at more than 180 people. Three Israelis were killed in violence in the West Bank over that period, according to officials.
“This is every day,” said a 39-year-old Palestinian computer engineer, who asked to remain anonymous.
“This is our life,” he said before fresh gunfire sent panic through a crowd of onlookers who ran down the street.
Warnings from above
The war in Gaza was triggered when Hamas gunmen stormed into Israel in an unprecedented attack that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and has retaliated with an aerial bombing and ground offensive that the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip says has killed more than 10,800 people, mostly civilians.
The West Bank — a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — has also been roiled by violence amid increasing raids targeting militants.
The Israeli military said 20 people were detained in Thursday’s Jenin raid, including two members of the Islamic Jihad militant group.
From a hilltop vantage point, the crackle of gunfire echoed off high-rise buildings, amid smoke and sirens.
Fresh explosions occurred every five minutes at the peak of the fighting mid-afternoon, as an Israeli drone circled over the city.
A local told AFP leaflets were airdropped in the morning over Jenin refugee camp — home to some 23,000 people, according to the United Nations — warning them to avoid militant factions.
In the afternoon, more pamphlets were scattered from above, as locals said fighting had left children trapped in their schools.
“We feel even more bad than what you would assume,” said a 42-year-old dentist, after gesturing in the direction of Israeli troops and drawing a finger across his throat.
“They say in Gaza the problem is Hamas. The problem is not Hamas, the problem is the occupation.”
‘Our land’
On the streets, Israeli troops faced off with militants hiding behind cover.
Dozens of spectators milled in side streets, surging forward to help the wounded and direct ambulances.
Two men in balaclavas stalked through the crowd, one carrying a gun with the emblem of Palestinian militants Islamic Jihad.
The Iran-backed group, which is also active in Gaza, is blacklisted as a “terrorist organisation” by the European Union and the United States.
Nearby, a pickup truck waited to carry away the dead and wounded.
“They shoot indiscriminately, in a barbaric way,” said 35-year-old paramedic Muhammad al-Ahmad. “Every hour we have a body.”
At a local morgue, the pale faces of young men were stained with blood. The dead body of 45-year-old Muhammad Aqel’s nephew lay in an adjacent prayer room.
“What keeps us strong is our steadfastness and God. This land is our land,” said Aqel.


Source link

━ more like this

China Sanctions: China sanctions US firm Kharon, provider of research on Xinjiang

BEIJING: China's foreign ministry said it had sanctioned Kharon, a US firm founded by former treasury department officials that provides data to companies...

Bry-Air Conducts the 13th Biannual Eye Camp to Support Underprivileged People Suffering from Eye-Related Problems

Bry-Air Conducts the 13th Biannual Eye Camp to Support Underprivileged People Suffering from Eye-Related Problems Staying true to its commitment to enhancing lives through CSR...

Ukraine: Ukraine claims destruction of major Russian navy vessel in Crimea

Ukraine's air force said on Tuesday that it had destroyed a major Russia landing ship stationed in the Crimean waters, after the Russian-installed...

Mavericks’ Luka Doncic reaches 10,000-point career milestone

Mavericks star Luka Doncic reached 10,000 career points during the first quarter of Dallas’ road game against the Phoenix Suns. Doncic reached 10,000...

Indonesia nickel plant explosion death toll rises to 18

JAKARTA: The death toll after an explosion at a Chinese-funded nickel-processing plant in eastern Indonesia over the weekend has risen to 18 with...