Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Jenin and one near Bethlehem after a knife attack in the occupied West Bank as violence escalates.

Occupied East Jerusalem – Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including one suspected of carrying out a stabbing attack.

Minor Sanad Abu Attiyeh, 17, and Yazeed al-Saadi, 23, were shot dead during an Israeli army raid on Jenin on Thursday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Separately, the Israeli army shot and killed a Palestinian man who carried out a knife attack near the illegal settlement of Gush Etzion south of Bethlehem city, wounding four Israelis, early on Thursday.

The man was identified as Nidal Jumaa Jaafra, 30, from the village of Tarqoumya near Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.

In Jenin, 15 other Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition during the army raid, local media reports said, with at least three in a critical condition.

The Palestinian health ministry said the army fired tear gas near the Jenin public hospital, which seeped into the emergency department and disrupted its operations.

The army also raided and ransacked the home of Palestinian man Diaa Hamarsheh, 27, who carried out a shooting attack on Tuesday in the ultra-orthodox town of Bnei Brak east of Tel Aviv, killing five Israelis including a policeman.

Hamarsheh, who was shot dead in an armed confrontation with police, was a labourer who worked in Bnei Brak but lived in the village of Ya’bad outside Jenin city.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Hamarsheh’s house “has been set up for demolition” in order to “create deterrence”.

Heightened tensions

The killings come amid heightened tensions over the past two weeks in Israel and the occupied West Bank ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Some 11 Israelis, including three police officers, were killed in three separate attacks inside Israel by Palestinians in a surge of violence not witnessed in years.

On Sunday, two Palestinian gunmen from the northern town of Umm al-Fahm opened fire in the city of Hadera (Khdeira), killing two border police officers.

It followed an attack on March 22 when a Palestinian from the village of Hura in the Naqab (Negev) carried out a stabbing and car-ramming, killing four Israelis.

All the Palestinian assailants were shot dead at the scene, either by police or armed Israeli civilians.

On Wednesday, Bennett told Israelis “this is the time to carry a weapon”.

Israel has deployed thousands of reinforcements in the occupied West Bank, inside Israel, and along the besieged Gaza Strip.

In recent days, Israeli settlers across the occupied West Bank have held rallies on main roads and attacked Palestinian vehicles near Salfit and Nablus.

Armed Jewish vigilante groups have also been operating and assaulting Palestinians, hospitalising several, in the southern region of Naqab, and in the central town of al-Lydd. Also in al-Lydd, videos emerged of Israeli gangs smashing Palestinian cars.

Tensions on the ground have remained high since April and May last year.

Israeli attempts to forcibly displace residents of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and subsequent violent raids at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem during Ramadan in 2021 led to mass Palestinian protests and an 11-day confrontation between Israel and Palestinian armed movements in the besieged Gaza Strip.

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