At least four Palestinians were killed on Thursday and 23 others injured after an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) operation in Jenin, in the occupied 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 “neutralized two operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization who are suspected of significant terrorist activity.”
A third person “was neutralized after he tried to attack the fighters with an iron crowbar,” the statement continued.
“During the operation, the forces fired at armed men who fired at them, injuries were detected. Also, 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 leaders of the resistance will not go unpunished. The occupation have tried us before, knows for sure that our response is coming, and that the march of the resistance continues until liberation,” the Hamas statement read.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement following the raid: “These continuous Israeli aggressive actions confirm that Israel is not at all interested in calming the situation and preventing its eruption, contrary to all international efforts seeking to prevent escalation during the (upcoming) holy month of Ramadan.” He also called for “practical measures on the ground by the US administration to stop the unilateral Israeli measures, and to provide international protection for our people.”
The violence marks the latest round in what has become a brutal cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. A total of 88 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of this year, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said, a number that includes militants and civilians. Since the beginning of the year, 13 Israeli civilians and one security officer have been killed in what Israeli officials say were Palestinian attacks.