Israeli raids kill five as lethal operations persist in occupied West Bank

The Israeli military says four Palestinians were killed in Azzun, while a fifth was shot dead in Qalqilya.

Israeli soldiers take position along a street during a raid in the Askar refugee camp, east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on December 31, 2023.
Four Palestinians were killed in Azzun, while the fifth one was shot dead in Qalqilya [Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

At least five Palestinians have been killed during overnight raids in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military has said.

Four Palestinians were killed in Azzun, while the fifth was shot dead in Qalqilya after allegedly opening fire during a raid, the military said on Tuesday. Casualties and arrests have been rife in the West Bank amid increased activity by Israel amid its war in Gaza.

Detailing the latest incidents, the Israeli army posted a photo of three Carlo sub-machine guns they claimed the four men were carrying.

The Palestine Ministry of Health also confirmed the deaths in Azzun on their Telegram channel, adding that the bodies of the deceased were taken away by Israeli forces. There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials on the person killed in Qalqilya.

Since the Hamas offensive on October 7, Israeli forces have intensified lethal operations throughout the occupied West Bank, resulting in more than 320 Palestinian deaths from military actions and settler attacks.

Close to 5,000 people have been arrested in the territory since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began.

‘Violent confrontations’

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Ramallah, said there were at least a dozen raids in the West Bank overnight. Azzun was the most serious, he added.

“We know there have been violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces there. An IED was thrown at a military Jeep,” he said.

The bodies of the four people killed were taken away by Israeli forces, Smith said, noting that such action is “not unusual”.

“Since October 7, 46 bodies have been withheld by the Israelis and they got 194 in total since 2016,” he added.

Raids also took place in the city of Jenin, Smith reported. “Those raids are happening practically every night in Jenin, a centre of Palestinian resistance.”

The United Nations in a report last week urged Israel to cease “unlawful killings” and settler violence in the occupied West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office highlighted a concerning escalation in air raids and military incursions into densely populated refugee camps last week, leading to casualties and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure in the occupied territory.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies