Two Palestinian women killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank

Two Palestinian women have been killed by Israeli forces in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli police and official Palestinian media.

A Palestinian woman was shot by Israeli forces near the city of Bethlehem, the Palestinian health ministry said on Sunday. The woman, aged in her 40s, died after she suffered a torn artery and massive blood loss, the ministry said.

She was identified as Ghada Ibrahim Sabatien, a widowed mother of six, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The Israeli army said troops fired warning shots in the air when a suspect approached and then “fired towards the suspect’s lower body”, near the southern town of Husan.

In the southern city of Hebron, a Palestinian woman stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli border police officer before she was killed by Israeli forces, according to a statement by Israeli police.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers launched a raid for the second day running into the West Bank district of Jenin, home of the suspected attackers who launched recent deadly attacks in the Tel Aviv area. At least 10 people were wounded in confrontations in Jenin, as well as Jericho and Tulkarem.

Twenty-four arrests were made in various occupied West Bank cities, the Palestinian Prisoners Club announced.

Israeli troops take position in the Nur Shams Palestinian refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank town of Tulkarem during a raid [Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

The military operation came after a man from Jenin allegedly killed three Israelis and wounded more than a dozen others in a popular Tel Aviv nightlife area on Thursday evening.

On Friday, Israel said it had killed the alleged attacker, Raad Hazem, 28.

A total of 14 people have been killed in four attacks in Israel since March 22, including another shooting incident in Bnei Brak, an Orthodox Jewish city near Tel Aviv.

Over the same period, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed.

On Saturday, the Israeli army and border police killed a 25-year-old Palestinian member of Islamic Jihad, the main Palestinian armed movement besides Hamas, in heavy gun battles.

Thirteen other Palestinians were wounded in the shooting on Saturday, according to the ministry, including a 19-year-old woman with a bullet to her stomach.

The Israeli army also raided the village of Burqin near Jenin on Saturday, reportedly in an operation to arrest former Palestinian prisoner Nour al-Din Hamada. Two injuries were reported in that raid.

Israeli vehicles are positioned at the entrance of the Nur Shams Palestinian refugee camp
Israeli military vehicles are positioned at the entrance of the Nur Shams refugee camp [Jaafar Ashtuyeh/AFP]

Israel has also restricted access to Jenin, closed Israeli crossings and stepped up security checks.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Islamic Jihad praised the Tel Aviv attack – drawing criticism from the United Nations – but did not claim responsibility. The attack was condemned by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The recent violence has come amid heightened tensions during Ramadan, after violence flared during the Muslim holy month last year leading to 11 days of devastating conflict between Israel and Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Following Thursday’s attack, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave security agencies “full freedom” to end the deadly violence that has surged since March 22 “in order to defeat terror”.

Political researcher and writer Mariam Barghouti told Al Jazeera in recent years Israel has been “intensifying and further brutalising its assault on Palestinians”.

“It’s gotten to a point where nobody is safe – not Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, not Palestinians in Gaza, not Palestinians in the West Bank, and not Palestinians in forced exile,” she said from Ramallah.

“And I really think the settler regime is reaching a point where it’s like, ‘We [Israel] either take it all now or we risk losing parts of the annexation’.”

Barghouti said there has been an “intensification of land seizures, burning Palestinian olive groves, mass detention and incarceration of politically active groups”.

Separately, Israel said it will be rebuilding a 40-km-long section of the separation barrier by replacing its wire sections with a concrete wall from the area of Salem to the Bat Hefer region near Tulkarem in the West Bank.

On Sunday, Israel’s security cabinet unanimously approved the NIS 360 million (USD112) plan to build the wall after it was submitted by Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

“The barrier will be comprised of concrete, protective equipment, and additional technological components. It will be up to 9 meters high and will replace the fence that was built about 20 years ago,” according to a statement by the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

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