Israel kills two Palestinians amid surge in military raids

Sunday’s raid is just the latest in a stepped-up campaign of violence targeting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

epa10879974 Residents look at a damaged home at the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank city of Tulkarem
Palestinians look at a damaged home at the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank city of Tulkarem [Alaa Badarneh/EPA]

Two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, health officials say.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said two men – Asid Abu Ali, 21, and Abdulrahman Abu Daghash, 32 – were killed by Israeli fire in Sunday’s raid, which caused heavy damage to camp infrastructure.

In its comment on the latest bloodshed, the Israeli military said it had gone into the Nour Shams refugee camp to destroy “a militant command centre and bomb-storage facility” in a building.

Nour Shams

It said that engineering units detonated several bombs planted under roads and that armed Palestinian fighters opened fire and hurled explosives at the raiding army, causing Israeli troops to respond with live fire.

Earlier in the month, Israeli forces fatally shot 21-year-old Ayed Samih Khaled Abu Harb in the head during a raid on Nour Shams refugee camp.

Deadliest year for Palestinians: UN

Israel has been carrying out stepped-up military raids, primarily in the north of the occupied West Bank, for the past 18 months in what it says is a campaign to root out Palestinian resistance fighters and thwart future attacks.

The Israeli army has been militarily occupying the West Bank, where some three million Palestinians live, for 56 years.

In July, Israel launched one of its biggest attacks on the occupied West Bank, killing at least 12 Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp and wounding about 100 others.

The raids have shown little sign of slowing the fighting and contributed to the weakening of the Palestinian Authority, the self-ruled administration over parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The United Nations has said 2023 is the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the Health Ministry. At least 35 Israelis were also killed in Palestinian attacks during the same period.

Tensions spread to Gaza Strip

Over the past week, tensions have begun to spread to the blockaded Gaza Strip, where hundreds of Palestinians have been holding daily demonstrations along the separation fence built by Israel to close it off.

Israel had shut the Beit Hanouna (called Erez by Israel) crossing with Gaza last week in advance of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday, preventing thousands of workers from getting to their jobs in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Approximately 18,000 Gaza Palestinians have permits from Israeli authorities to work outside the blockaded enclave, providing a vital injection of cash amounting to some $2m daily to the impoverished enclave’s economy.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies