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Israeli raids kill seven Palestinians in West Bank

JENIN (AFP) – Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in raids across the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, as violence surges in the occupied territory in tandem with the Gaza war.

It said three men aged between 17 and 26 were killed in the northern city of Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups and the target of frequent military incursions.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, two of them died when a drone strike hit a house in the city’s refugee camp.

The Israeli army said its forces were ‘operating against Hamas’ across the West Bank, with operations in Jenin and the northern city of Nablus.

In the southern city of Hebron, two more Palestinians aged 33 and 36 were killed during a military raid on Fawwar refugee camp, the ministry and Wafa said.

The army said troops had responded with fire when Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at them as they seized weapons manufacturing equipment.

A sixth Palestinian, aged 29, died during an Israeli arrest operation in Qalandiya refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah, the ministry said.

In the early afternoon, the ministry said a 33-year-old Palestinian man was killed by (Israeli) occupation bullets in Budrus, a village west of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli army did not immediately comment on the Budrus shooting. The ministry also said two other Palestinians had been shot dead in Jenin. An army spokesperson told AFP troops were conducting counterterrorism activities in the area without elaborating.

And it said a Palestinian hit by Israeli fire in Nablus had succumbed to his wounds. Violence has surged across the West Bank for months and intensified further since the start of the war between Israel Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Israel has hit back with a blistering assault that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said has killed more than 9,200 people.

The United Nations Human Rights Office said the situation in the West Bank had become alarming and urgent. Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and its forces regularly carry out raids on militants in the Palestinian territory.

A road ripped up by an Israeli manned bulldozer during their incursion and clashes in the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp. PHOTO: AFP