Seven Palestinians killed in Jenin strike as West Bank violence surges

Four brothers among men struck while sitting on a pavement in Jenin, says Palestinian media

Palestinians at the site of an Israeli air strike which killed six men, near Jenin in the occupied West Bank.  Reuters
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An Israeli strike killed seven Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Sunday, the latest in a string of deadly attacks in the city.

Official Palestinian media said the men, including four brothers from the Jenin village of Shohada, were “executed in cold blood” while sitting on a pavement near the Martyr's Roundabout.

The Wafa news agency reported that six people were sitting on the pavement when the incident took place. There had been no confrontation in the area according to eyewitnesses.

A seventh man died of his wounds later on Sunday.

It came amid an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp, in which an Israeli border police officer was killed after an explosive was thrown at the officer's vehicle.

Several others were wounded, the Israeli army said, with a military helicopter “killing a number of terrorists” who threw explosives at the soldiers.

The renewed violence comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the region in a fresh bid to stop the fighting in Gaza, where more than 22,700 have been killed since October 7.

Mr Blinken will visit several Gulf countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, during his tour. He will also visit Israel, the occupied West Bank, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar to discuss increased humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party called a general strike across the West Bank following the deaths in Jenin.

In Ramallah, a Palestinian was killed by the army in the village of Abwein, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and two others were injured in an Israeli raid.

Israeli forces restricted access to Ramallah city, where the Palestinian government is based, following a shooting near an Israeli settlement in the area on Sunday morning, Palestinian media earlier reported.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service said a man, 30, was killed on the road to Ofra, a settlement north of Ramallah.

The deceased was a resident of East Jerusalem, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

More than 520 Palestinians were killed in raids by Israeli security forces and settlers attacks in the West Bank in 2023, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, including at least 317 since the war in Gaza began on October 7.

Thousands have been detained since the start of the war, which was triggered by Hamas' deadly attack on southern Israel which killed about 1,100 people, mostly civilians, and saw 240 others taken hostage.

Meanwhile, at least 41 people were killed in 2023 in Palestinian militant attacks in Israel and the West Bank, Israel's Shin Bet security agency said.

The Jenin refugee camp has been a particular focus of Israeli military campaigns over the last year, with Israel stating that the camp is home to armed factions responsible for committing or plotting attacks on Israelis.

Apache helicopters have been deployed during raids in the densely populated camp, where about 14,000 people live.

A drone strike killed five Palestinians in Jenin in mid-December, while at least 10 were killed in a similar strike in November during the biggest raid on the camp in several months.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 12:46 PM