Israeli soldiers have shot dead two Palestinian teenagers during a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, in the latest confrontation that has made 2022 the deadliest year of violence in the occupied territory in nearly a decade.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health on Saturday identified the victims, both 17 years old, as Ahmad Mohammad Daraghmeh and Mahmoud as-Sous, according to the Wafa news agency. At least 11 others were wounded, three of them critically, in the latest Israeli raid, the ministry said.
Palestinian officials said soldiers entered the camp early on Saturday and surrounded a house. In videos circulated on social media, exchanges of fire could be heard.
“The more the occupation perpetrates its crimes, the tougher the resistance will be,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.
Israel has carried out numerous raids on the camp, which is known as a stronghold of Palestinian resistance fighters, in recent months following a string of fatal Palestinian street attacks in Israel.
The deadliest year in nearly 10 years
Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah, said Jenin has been at the epicentre of tensions.
“We’re talking about more than 114 Palestinians killed by Israel since the beginning of the year in the occupied West Bank alone, and a third of those have been killed in Jenin,” Ibrahim said.
“We’re also seeing Israel using aerial enforcement during raids,” Ibrahim said, adding, “this is something we haven’t seen since the second Palestinian Intifada” in early 2000.
“It is the deadliest year in the occupied West Bank for more than seven years,” she said.
Among those injured on Saturday were a man and his daughter after an Israeli army vehicle ran over them “while they were standing in front of their home in the camp”, Wafa news agency reported.
“Israeli occupation forces also directly fired live shots at a group of journalists covering the attack,” the Palestinian agency said.
The Israeli army said it arrested a man and reported exchanges of fire in Jenin. It gave no further details.
The killing comes a day after two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by Israeli forces in separate incidents in the West Bank, according to the health ministry.
One Palestinian was killed in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, while the second one was killed near the city of Ramallah.
The Israeli military said its soldiers fired at a suspect who threw Molotov cocktails at troops in Qalqilya and responded to a “violent riot” outside Ramallah.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, described the deaths on Friday as “executions”.
Peace talks collapsed
Israeli forces have been conducting raids, killing Palestinians, in the northern West Bank, mainly in Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance is becoming more organised and new groups of fighters have been formed.
Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead in May while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.
At least 20 Palestinian minors have been killed in the West Bank this year, according to United Nations data.
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in a 1967 Middle East War – a move not recognised by the international community. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.
US-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival