Three Palestinians die in latest day of West Bank violence

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned there would 'not be limits' for this latest campaign

Palestinians carry the body of Mohamed Zakarneh during his funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, on April 11. EPA

Three Palestinians died on Thursday as Israeli troops launched more raids into the West Bank flashpoint district of Jenin, a week after a gunman from the area went on a deadly shooting spree in Tel Aviv.

Israel has poured extra troops into the West Bank and is reinforcing its wall and fence with the occupied territory after four attacks that have claimed 14 lives, most of them civilians, in the past three weeks.

A total of 21 Palestinians have been killed in the latest wave of violence since March 22, including those who attacked Israelis, an AFP tally shows.

"Two youths died of injuries sustained in an Israeli attack" near Jenin on Thursday morning, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Hours later, the ministry announced the death of a Palestinian father of six, who was "critically wounded by Israeli bullets" the previous day in Beita, south of Nablus.

Local sources identified the man as Fawaz Hamayel, 45.

The Israeli army said the clashes on Thursday, its sixth straight day of "counter-terrorism activities", saw it come under attack from a crowd in Kafr Dan, a village north-west of Jenin.

"Dozens of Palestinians violently attacked the soldiers, shot at the forces and hurled IEDs [improvised explosive devices] at them, endangering their safety," the army said.

"The soldiers responded with live ammunition."

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has given Israeli troops a free hand to "defeat terror" in the territory, which Israel has occupied since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, warning there would "not be limits" for the campaign.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a Cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, on April 10. AFP

Palestinian security sources identified the two men killed Thursday as Mustafa Abu Al Rub and Chas Kamamji.

Kamamji is a brother of Islamic Jihad member Ayham Kamamji, who was among six prisoners who escaped Israel's high-security Gilboa prison through a tunnel in September before being recaptured.

Mourners filled the streets of Silwad, north of Ramallah, for the funeral of Amer Elyan, 20, who was killed on Wednesday with a bullet to the chest by Israeli troops who said he threw a firebomb at them during an arrest raid.

Some mourners waved the green flags of the militant movement Hamas and masked men carried guns as Elyan's body, draped in a Palestinian flag and a wreath, was carried by the crowd.

"My son's only wish was to become a martyr, just like his whole generation, because they see no future nor a political horizon for them," his father Mohammed said

Israeli troops have arrested more than 200 Palestinians since early April, about half of them in the past six days, said the Palestinian Prisoner's Club, a group that supports those incarcerated.

Israel's main focus has been the northern district of Jenin and the town's refugee camp, which is a bastion of militant groups.

Israel is seeking to arrest relatives and supporters of Tel Aviv shooter Raad Hazem, 28, who was killed after a gun rampage in a popular nightlife area last Thursday. He has been hailed as a "hero" in his hometown of Jenin.

Israel's Public Security Minister, Omer Bar-Lev, on Wednesday told security personnel that "the intensity will only increase", after he toured part of the security barrier.

"What is currently happening in Jenin, specifically the refugee camp, is remarkable," he said. "You don't stop it there, it spreads all over the place".

Women react during the funeral of Palestinian Chas Kamamji in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, on April 14. AFP

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday charged that Israeli soldiers in the operations "murder for the sake of murder … without the slightest regard for international law".

The West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem declared general strikes on Thursday in protest against the Israeli military operations.

The rise in violence comes during Ramadan and before the Jewish festival of Passover and Christian Easter.

On Thursday, Israel announced it would block crossings from the West Bank and Gaza Strip into Israel from Friday afternoon and Saturday, the first two nights of the week-long Passover festival, and poossibly keep the crossings closed for the rest of the holiday.

Last year during Ramadan, tensions in Jerusalem flared into 11 days of war between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that rules the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

Updated: April 14, 2022, 10:01 PM