Two killed in Israeli raids on West Bank as air strikes pound Gaza

Israeli occupation forces carry out dozens of arrests in occupied Palestinian territories

Israeli military vehicles in convoy during a raid on Far'a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Monday. EPA
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Two people were killed on Monday morning in the latest wave of raids by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank as air strikes targeting the Gaza Strip continued after a hostage rescue operation in the enclave killed at least 274 Palestinians.

Israeli forces swept through parts of the West Bank in overnight raids, searching dozens of houses and arresting a number of Palestinians, local media reported.

A 15 year old was shot dead during a five-hour raid in Far'a refugee camp, north-east of Nablus, in which four other young men were arrested, Wafa news agency reported.

In Tulkarem, Israeli snipers stationed themselves on the roofs of houses and “opened fire randomly”, Wafa said. A 21-year-old man was shot and severely injured. He later died from his wounds after Israeli forces reportedly prevented ambulances from reaching him.

Clashes also took place in Hebron on Sunday evening, with Israeli forces firing bullets and tear gas. A minor was arrested and another was injured after he was shot in the back.

Three minors were arrested on Sunday evening in Beit Hanina in occupied East Jerusalem.

Mohammed Azem, the mayor of Sebastia, a village close to Nablus, told Wafa that Israeli forces raided the main street linking Jenin and Nablus and demolished a telecom tower.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society on Monday said that 30 people have been arrested so far in raids carried out across the occupied West Bank, with the majority being in Bethlehem, with some reported in Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Tubas.

"The occupation forces continue to carry out widespread harassment, severe beatings, and threats against detainees and their families, in addition to sabotaging and destroying citizens' homes," the society said in a statement quoted by Wafa.

Three people were arrested in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, plus nine in Bethlehem, while another three were detained in Jenin after occupation forces raided and searched their homes, Wafa reported. Raids were also reported in villages west of Ramallah.

The Jenin refugee camp has long been a target of Israeli military campaigns, particularly since the war broke out in Gaza on October 7. Benjamin Netanyahu's government claims the camp is a stronghold of armed factions responsible for committing and plotting attacks against Israel.

Since October 7, at least 534 people have been killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including 133 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 5,200 have been injured.

Meanwhile, Israeli air strikes continue pounding the Gaza Strip.

At least five people were killed in Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis and Rafah on Monday morning. Medical sources cited by Wafa said 30 injured people arrived at the Al Nasser medical complex. Three people were killed in an air strike on a house in Rafah, Palestinian media said.

Two people were killed in an overnight strike targeting a family residence in the Shujaiya neighbourhood in Gaza city. Family homes were also hit in the Zeitoun and Tal Al Hawa neighbourhoods, although there was no information about casualties.

Heavy bombardment was also reported in northern areas of Rafah, the enclave's southernmost city, and in Deir Al Balah in central Gaza, causing an unspecified number of casualties.

Gaza is still reeling from one of the deadliest days of the war on Saturday, when 274 Palestinians were killed as Israeli forces raided the Nuseirat refugee camp to free four Israeli hostages. An Israeli commando was wounded during the fighting and later died.

Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in the raid, overwhelming hospitals already struggling to treat the wounded from previous Israeli attacks.

The hostage rescue mission also affected the delivery of much-needed aid in Gaza. The World Food Programme said distribution of aid delivered via a US-built pier in central Gaza was suspended due to security concerns after the Israeli operation in Nuseirat.

The raid came amid efforts by mediators to broker a ceasefire agreement that includes the release of all hostages seized by Hamas during its attack on southern Israel on October 7 that triggered the Gaza war.

Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's handling of the hostage crisis, as well as postwar plans for Gaza, have created divisions in his government, with National Unity party leader Benny Gantz resigning from the war cabinet on Sunday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to meet Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz during a visit to Israel on Monday in a bid to push forward the ceasefire negotiations.

Updated: June 13, 2024, 12:52 PM