Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – Five Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army during overnight military raids that led to armed confrontations on Sunday in the Jenin and Jerusalem areas of the occupied West Bank.
Mohammad Hlayel, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, confirmed to Al Jazeera the killing of three Palestinians from the village of Biddu, northwest Jerusalem, who were identified by their families as Ahmad Zahran, Mahmoud Hmaidan and Zakariya Badwan.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Israeli forces also killed two residents from the village of Burqin, southwest of Jenin city, who were identified as 22-year-old Osama Soboh, and 16-year-old child, Yousif Soboh.
According to Israeli media, two Israeli soldiers were “seriously injured” during the armed confrontations, and have been hospitalized.
Hlayel told Al Jazeera that the bodies of the three Palestinians from Biddu are in Israeli army custody, while Osama Soboh from Jenin died at the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin.
According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Osama Soboh was killed after Israeli forces raided Burqin and surrounded one of the homes, leading to a gun battle with the army.
Zahran, Hmeidan and Badwan were killed during an armed confrontation with the Israeli army after it raided the town of Beit Anan, near Biddu.
Israeli media said the army raids aimed to arrest “Hamas operatives”.
According to Zahran’s family, Israeli forces had been chasing him for weeks, including with previous army raids on their home, arrests and interrogation of family members, local media reported.
Ahmad Zahran’s mother accused the Palestinian Authority of aiding the Israeli army arrest operation, saying PA forces had also raided their home recently. “The PA is the one who sent the Israelis to us,” she told local media.
In a statement, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh mourned the five Palestinians.
“Patience and solace to their families and close ones, and freedom to our people from this criminal occupation and its continuous violations against our people,” the statement said.
Raids and arrests were also reported in the Jenin villages of Kufrdan and Yaabad.
The Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, near Ramallah, told Al Jazeera that Zakariya Badwan was a full-time employee there.
The museum said in a social media post it “received the news with utter shock and immense sadness”.
“We remember our dear Zakariya for his amiable character, friendliness, and his ever smiling and cheerful face,” adding that the museum is shutting its doors to the public today “in mourning of the martyr Zakariya and the martyrs of Palestine who were killed at dawn today”.
While Israeli military operations in West Bank towns and villages are a near-daily reality, over the past few months, army raids in the Jenin area have been met with live fire by Palestinian residents.
Last month, the Israeli army killed four Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp during an operation that led to armed confrontations.