Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in latest Jenin raid

Israel has now killed 83 Palestinians so far this year as it steps up raids in the occupied West Bank.

An Israeli army raid has killed at least four Palestinians, including a teenager, in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian officials say.

Thursday’s raid – the latest since Israel intensified such operations in the West Bank last year – was carried out by undercover Israeli forces “who broke into downtown Jenin”, the Palestinian state news agency Wafa quoted the Ministry of Health as saying.

The ministry identified three of the dead as Youssef Shreem, 29; Nidal Khazim, 28; and Omar Awadin, 16. The identity of the fourth person was not immediately known.

The Israeli army said its security forces operated “in the Jenin refugee camp”.

Jenin is among the areas in the northern West Bank where Israel has intensified raids over the past year in an attempt to crack down on growing armed Palestinian resistance.

Amateur video taken by people in Jenin appeared to show a crowd of Palestinians surrounding a car that people suspected carried undercover Israeli forces. Another clip appeared to show Israeli military vehicles towing the car away.

The raid came a day after the Palestinian Authority had said that it would participate in a security meeting with Israel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh on March 19. The meeting will also include representatives from Egypt, Jordan and the United States.

Political analyst Nour Odeh said the Palestinian leadership should not attend the meeting as the Palestinian public opinion is “resoundingly against” it.

“The Palestinian leadership should turn inwards, represent the will of its people and work on the Palestinian rift instead of working with an Israeli government,” Odeh told Al Jazeera from Ramallah.

Odeh said the Israeli government does not recognise the Palestinian people.

“The agenda of this [Israeli] government is to be more brutal towards Palestinian people, to completely decimate their agenda for statehood and freedom and to prevent that by mass ethnic cleansing, by dispossession, demolishing homes, forbidding Palestinian construction in the West Bank.”

Thursday’s deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed since the start of the year to 83 as Israel has stepped up arrest raids in response to a series of attacks last spring.

Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed 14 people in 2023.

Last week, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in a raid in Jenin, less than 48 hours after six others were killed in another raid in the city. In January, Israeli soldiers killed nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, during a large-scale raid on the Jenin refugee camp.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in 2022, many of them civilians.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies