Israeli military kills 2 Palestinians in raid on West Bank

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians during a military attack in the occupied West Bank early Thursday, Palestinian media reported, while Israeli-Palestinian violence continued to mount.

The official Wafa news agency identified the dead as Jawad Bawatqa, 58, and Adham Jabarin. They were shot in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

Palestinian media said Bawatqa was a teacher, while the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — an armed militia affiliated with Fatah, the secular political party that controls the Palestinian Authority — described Jabarin as a militant.

The Israeli military said it had no immediate comment.

Palestinian media also reported that Israeli forces arrested a local official of the Islamic Jihad militant group in Jenin.

Tensions in the West Bank, where the Israeli military has been conducting arrests almost every night since last spring, have risen after a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis that has killed 19 people. Another 10 Israelis were killed in a second series of attacks later last year.

Israel says the raids are designed to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians see it as another entrenchment of Israel’s indefinite, 55-year occupation of lands they aspire to be for their future state.

Thursday’s deaths put the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in the West Bank since early 2023 at 17.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022, according to figures from Israeli rights group B’Tselem, making it the deadliest year since 2004.

Israel says most of the dead were militants. But Palestinian stone-throwers, youth protesting the attacks, and others not involved in confrontations were also killed.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Israeli military kills 2 Palestinians in raid on West Bank

Sarah Y. Kim

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