At least four Palestinians were killed Thursday and 23 others injured after an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in Jenin, occupied territory west bank, according to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry. At least five of the injured are in critical condition, the health ministry added.
In a statement, the Israeli security forces said they had “neutralized two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization who are suspected of significant terrorist activities”.
A third person “was incapacitated after attempting to attack the fighters with an iron crowbar,” the statement continued.
“During the operation, the forces fired on gunmen who fired at them, injuries were noted. In addition, violent disturbances developed during which suspects threw stones at the forces.
Hamas announced in a statement that two of the Palestinians killed in Jenin were its members.
“The cowardly assassination of two resistance leaders will not go unpunished. The occupation has already tried us, knows for sure that our response is coming and that the march of resistance continues until the liberation,” the Hamas statement said.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement after the raid: “These continued aggressive Israeli actions confirm that Israel is not at all interested in calming the situation and preventing its eruption, contrary to all international efforts to prevent escalation during the (next) holy month of Ramadan. He also called for “practical steps on the ground by the US administration to end unilateral Israeli and to provide international protection to our people”.
The violence marks the latest cycle in what has become a brutal cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. A total of 88 Palestinians have been killed since the start of this year, the Palestinian health ministry said, a number that includes militants and civilians. So far this year, 13 Israeli civilians and a security guard have been killed in what Israeli officials say are Palestinian attacks.