At least seven Palestinians killed across West Bank in army and settler attacks

Thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives in the latest flare-up of violence

Palestinian boys wave their national flag as demonstrators clash with Israeli soldiers during a protest in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. AFP
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At least seven Palestinians have been killed across the occupied West Bank since Wednesday evening, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry and official media.

Three people, including two teenagers, were killed in dawn raids in Nour Shams refugee camp, Bethlehem's Dheisheh refugee camp and the village of Burdrus near Ramallah, the ministry said.

Taha Mohammed died of his wounds in Nour Shams after the army prevented him from being taken to hospital, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Seven Palestinians were killed across the West Bank in a 12-hour period, the news agency said early on Thursday.

Only hours later, Palestinian media said Israeli forces had arrested 153 people across the West Bank, including 50 workers from Gaza, in one of the biggest targeted arrest campaigns in years.

Wafa published the names of dozens of people arrested in numerous locations, with most recorded in the cities of Hebron and Ramallah.

The Israeli army later said it had arrested more than 80 people, including 63 Hamas members.

Gebriel Awad, a young man, was shot dead in Budrus on Thursday morning, said Wafa, which also reported two teenagers shot dead by the army near Ramallah.

The Health Ministry said Mohammed Fawqa, 21, was also killed in a settler attack in the village of Dora Al Qura, near Ramallah.

A 24 year old also died of his injuries after being shot by the army near Nablus, Wafa reported.

The recent increase of violence in the Israel-Gaza conflict follows an attack by Hamas on Israel in early October that killed about 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

Israeli forces have carried out their fiercest bombardment of Gaza in response, killing almost 4,000 Palestinians and imposing a total siege on the blockaded enclave that Hamas controls, fuelling anger in the West Bank and globally.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, 69 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since the Hamas attack. Many parts of the West Bank were placed on lockdown and the Israeli army heavily restricted access into and between Palestinian towns and cities.

Three people were taken to hospital in critical condition on Thursday afternoon as raids continued on Nour Shams near Tulkarm city in the West Bank, the Health Ministry said.

West Bank residents have protested against Israeli aggression on Gaza and also hit out at the US for its support of Israel.

In Ramallah, demonstrators chanted against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US on Wednesday, following an Israeli strike on Gaza's Al Ahli Arab Hospital that killed more than 500 Palestinians.

Protests have also been held in Nablus and Qalqilya.

The West Bank is home to the Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Hamas rivals Fatah and 87-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Abbas pulled out of meetings with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday after the attack on the Gaza hospital.

He withdrew from a summit scheduled with Mr Biden and the Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II in Amman, citing his protest against Israeli aggression on civilians.

Updated: October 19, 2023, 12:53 PM