Israel forces kill three Palestinians in occupied West Bank attack

Soldiers opened fire on a vehicle near the Jenin refugee camp, killing three passengers who the Israeli army alleged were planning an attack.

Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank have shot dead three Palestinians who the army alleged were on their way to carry out an attack.

Soldiers opened fire on Sunday on a vehicle and killed three passengers, an army statement said.

“A short time ago, a vehicle carrying a squad of terrorists from the Jenin refugee camp was identified while on its way to carry out an attack,” it said.

The dead included Naif Abu Tsuik, 26, who the army said was a “leading military operative” from the Jenin refugee camp.

The army said that he was “involved in military action against Israeli security forces and advancing military activity directed by terrorists in the Gaza Strip”, the coastal enclave controlled by the group Hamas.

A woman passes in a car by the scene where Israeli forces targeted a Palestinian car, near Jenin
A woman passes in a car by the scene where Israeli forces targeted a Palestinian vehicle, near Jenin [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

According to the Quds News Network, the vehicle was hit with more than 100 bullets.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the security forces and said Israel “will continue to act against those who seek our lives anywhere and at any time”.

Hazem Qasem, a Hamas Gaza spokesman, said the deaths would not go unpunished.

“The enemy, which assassinated three of our Palestinian people, will not escape paying the price of its crimes,” he said in a statement.

Reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom said the Palestinian health ministry confirmed the deaths in the attack south of Jenin.

“The Israeli army said it also found an M-16 [assault weapon] in the vehicle,” said Jamjoom.

“This is all adding to a lot of tension here. It comes 24 hours after an attack that occurred in Tel Aviv, in which a young Palestinian man from Jenin was shooting at people. This is adding to a lot of concern to what this could mean in the days ahead.”

Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative party, said that the killing of the three Palestinians amounts to an “extrajudicial killing”.

“What Israel did today is another act of extrajudicial killing of Palestinian young people,” Barghouti told Al Jazeera. “It’s unlawful execution of people without any kind of judiciary process.”

Deadliest year

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in the occupied Palestinian territories and the UN has warned that 2023 is on track to be the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started recording fatalities.

Barghouti said these killings are a “war of terror” against the Palestinian civil population, that will continue so long as the Israeli occupation continues.

“Occupation has been there for 56 years, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is there since 75 years, and without ending these two processes, of course, there will never be peace in this region,” he said.

Jenin has been a flashpoint and the scene of numerous Israeli raids – many deadly – during the past few months. The largest Israeli raid of the camp in nearly 20 years took place in June, killing 12 Palestinians and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

On Saturday, August 5, Kamel Abu Bakr, from Jenin, opened fire in central Tel Aviv and killed an Israeli police inspector before he was shot dead by a responding officer.

Earlier this week, a settler rampage in the occupied West Bank killed 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan, while Israeli soldiers shot dead another young Palestinian, 18-year-old Mahmoud Abu Sa’an, during one of their daily pre-dawn raids in the occupied West Bank.

The settler attack, Barghouti said, was carried out by a man who serves in the Israeli government.

The political leader added that what this says about the relationship between settlers and Israel’s current far-right government, therefore, is that “this Israeli government is a fascist government.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies