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Israeli forces kill 5 “armed” Palestinians in a raid in the West Bank

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Israeli security officials said that Israeli forces killed at least five Palestinians who were said to be armed in a raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank on Monday.

The raid in the city of Jericho was supposedly in response to a failed attack on Israelis that was likely to exacerbate tensions in the area.

However, the Palestinian Ministry of Health did not immediately confirm the deaths, saying only that three were injured, one of whom was in a serious condition.

The violence comes amid one of the bloodiest periods in recent years in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in the first weeks of Israel’s new government, it is the most right-wing of all, which has promised to take a hard line against the Palestinians.

The Israeli military claimed it was operating in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp to apprehend the suspects behind a failed shooting attack last month at a West Bank restaurant, in which the attackers were said to have been thwarted by a weapon malfunction.

The army said the attackers then fled the scene, adding that they were members of the Hamas armed group that rules the Gaza Strip and has operatives in the West Bank as well.

The army claimed it was searching on Monday for the armed group behind the shooting, which it said had locked itself inside a house in a refugee camp.

During the search, the forces encountered the militants and a gun battle ensued. The army claimed that a number of gunmen were involved in the attempted attack on the restaurant.

Israeli security officials said two of the five dead were Hamas members allegedly involved in the attempted attack. He claimed that the other three were armed men who exchanged fire with the forces during the raid.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raid with the media.

Hamas said it mourns the death of members of its military wing, without specifying the number of deaths. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the violence would be met with a response.

“Our people and their resistance will not delay in responding to this crime,” he said.

The raid comes days after an earlier incursion into the Aqabat Jaber camp near the Palestinian city of Jericho, a desert oasis in an area of ​​the West Bank that rarely witnesses such unrest, where troops are also searching for suspects.

Since shooting at the nearby settlement, the Israeli army has closed several roads into Jericho – a closure that has put the city under a semi-siege, disrupting businesses and creating hours-long jams at checkpoints that have affected even Palestinian security forces, the footage shows. .

Monday’s violence comes days after an Israeli military raid on the Jenin camp killed 10 Palestinians, most of them activists, and a 61-year-old woman.

The next day, a Palestinian shooting attack outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem left seven people dead, including a 14-year-old.

The Israeli army has intensified its night and almost night raids in the occupied West Bank since the series of bloody Palestinian attacks inside Israel last spring.

Through the past year of escalating raids, Jericho has remained a kind of quiet desert town, escaping much violence.

The Palestinian Authority, in response to last week’s raid on the Jenin refugee camp, announced the cessation of security coordination with Israel.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed last year in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, making it the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to figures from Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Since the beginning of this year, 41 Palestinians have been killed in those areas. About 30 people will be killed in Israel by Palestinians in 2022.

The Israeli military says most of the Palestinian dead were militants. However, stone-throwing youths protesting against the incursions and others who did not participate in the confrontations were killed.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War. The Palestinians seek to establish these lands for their desired independent state.

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