At least four Palestinians were killed and 44 injured in an Israeli military raid and violent clashes in Jenin on Wednesday morning, Palestinian officials said, making the day one of the deadliest in the West Bank this year, Palestinian officials said. when more than 100 Palestinians had already been killed.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the raid was linked to the Tel Aviv attack in April that killed three people and that the suspects fought back with explosives and gunfire on Wednesday.
IDF troops entered the Jenin refugee camp to “detain two suspects involved in a number of recent shootings,” the IDF said in a statement.
“During the encirclement of the house where both suspects were, an explosive device went off, and the suspects opened fire on the security forces. Security forces returned fire in accordance with standard operating procedures and both suspects were killed,” the IDF said.
One of those killed was identified by both Palestinian and Israeli officials as Abdel al-Rahman Hazam, brother of Raed Hazem, who attacked a bar in downtown Tel Aviv. Raed Hazem was killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces in Jaffa the morning after the attack in April.
The other three men killed on Wednesday were identified by Palestinian health officials as Mohammad Aluna, Ahmad Nazmi Alawuna and Muhammad Abu Naaseh.
According to the state-sponsored Palestinian news agency WAFA, “A large army force raided Jenin and its refugee camp this morning, firing in all directions and using tear gas canisters, surrounding and shelling a house belonging to Fathi Hazem, Raed’s father and Bed.”
Video from Jenin shows several Israeli armored military vehicles driving through Jenin, as well as fire and large puffs of smoke coming from the house. Surveillance video shows a group of armed Palestinians firing into the street. One is then shot in the head and falls to the ground. Local journalists identified the man as Alauna.
Clashes continued as of Wednesday afternoon.
Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudayneh said in a statement that “the Israeli occupation continues to play with the lives of our Palestinian people and undermine security and stability by continuing its policy of escalation.”
“Israel is still a state above international law and that Israel and the United States of America have lost confidence in themselves, demanding calm and stability, and on the ground are practicing all forms of escalation, killing and destruction against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy places ”, Abu Rudeine added.
This is already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2015, according to the Palestinian health ministry. More than 35 of those killed were in Jenin. Israel claims most of those killed were brutally engaged in combat with soldiers during military operations, but dozens of unarmed civilians were also killed, human rights groups including B’Tselem say.
For months, Israel has been regularly raiding cities in the West Bank, with a focus on Jenin and Nablus, saying it targets militants and their weapons caches before they have a chance to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks. The operation, dubbed “Breaking the Wave” by the IDF, was launched after a series of attacks on the Israelis. At least 20 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in attacks on civilians and soldiers in Israel and the West Bank this year.