Two Palestinians shot dead by Israel troops in occupied West Bank

The deaths bring this year’s Palestinian toll to 12 as Israel has been engaged in deadly raids for nearly a year.

Onlookers surround a bullet-riddled car in which 2 Palestinians were reportedly killed by Israeli troops in Jaba near the West Bank town of Jenin, on January 14, 2023.
Onlookers surround a bullet-riddled car in which two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in Jaba near the occupied West Bank town of Jenin on January 14, 2023 [Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

Israeli troops have shot dead two Palestinian men in the occupied West Bank during an army raid near a flashpoint town.

The two men – Ezzedine Bassem Hamamreh, 24, and Amjad Adnan Khaliliyeh, 23 – were killed on Saturday “during an assault on the village of Jaba, south of Jenin”, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said Hamamreh and Khaliliyeh were its members. In a statement, the group condemned the killings, describing the two men as “heroic martyrs”.

It said they were killed while trying to intervene against the “occupation forces, which were carrying out a cowardly assassination operation”.

A third Palestinian, 19-year-old Yazen Samer Ja’abari, died of injuries he received when he was shot by Israeli forces on January 2, the ministry added. Ja’abari was wounded in the village of Kufr Dan near Jenin during an army raid, in which two other Palestinians were killed.

The latest deaths bring to 12 the number of Palestinians killed this year by Israeli forces in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967. The number includes three minors. The Israeli military has been engaged in a campaign of intensified raids and killings that has lasted almost a year.

Since a string of attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israel that began in March, the Israeli army has launched a campaign called Break the Wave, which has included near-daily raids, mass arrests and killings in the occupied West Bank with a focus on Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance has grown more organised over the past year.

The United Nations said 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in the past 16 years, with Israeli forces killing 149 Palestinians. More than 30 children were among those killed last year. At least 9,000 Palestinians were injured.

Israeli forces have killed civilians confronting them during raids, uninvolved bystanders as well as Palestinian fighters in targeted assassinations and during fighting.

The latest deaths were reported a few weeks after the formation of a new Israeli government, which is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is said to be the most right-wing in Israel’s 74-year history.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies