Hamas threatens retaliation: Israeli army kills ten people

Hamas threatens retaliation
Israeli army kills ten people

The spiral of violence in the occupied West Bank has no end. Nine people die in an Israeli raid on a large refugee camp, and another person is believed to have died during protests. The Palestinian Authority then takes action.

The Israeli army has killed ten people in clashes in the West Bank. Nine of them died in an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, one man was killed by Israeli soldiers in al-Ram near Jerusalem. According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, he was killed during protests against the crackdown. With regard to Jenin, the Israeli army spoke of an “anti-terrorist operation”.

The Palestinian Authority terminated its security cooperation with Israel over the incident. In view of “repeated attacks on our people” and the “violations of signed agreements, particularly in the area of ​​security,” his agency considers its cooperation with the “Israeli occupation government” to be over, explained the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The US government has expressed regret at the decision. Rather, it is important that both sides “maintain security coordination and, if possible, even deepen it,” said Barbara Leaf, US chief diplomat for the Middle East. Next week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Among other things, meetings are planned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in office again since January, and Palestinian President Abbas.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, an elderly woman was among the dead in Jenin, and 20 other people were injured. The UN has not recorded such a high number of casualties in a single Israeli operation in the West Bank since it began counting it in 2005. The death toll brought the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank so far this year to 30. Most of them were shot in clashes with the Israeli army.

Israel denies deliberate attack on hospital

The Israeli army has denied Palestinian allegations about its deployment in Jenin. “No one has intentionally shot tear gas at a hospital,” said a spokesman. “But the operation wasn’t far from the hospital and it’s possible some tear gas got in through an open window.” Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said earlier that “occupational forces” stormed a hospital in Jenin and “deliberately fired tear gas at the hospital’s children’s ward.” She also said Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching the injured. The head of the hospital in Jenin, Visam Bakr, did say that Israeli shots were fired near his clinic – but not that the hospital was targeted.

The Israeli army spoke of an “anti-terrorist operation to arrest an Islamic Jihad terrorist group” planning an assassination in Israel. During the operation, soldiers came under fire and shot several fighters themselves. Israeli soldiers were not injured. An AFP photographer saw young Palestinians at the scene throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles before the soldiers left Jenin. Dating back to 1953, the refugee camp is a city within a city that is home to 20,000 people, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

2022 was the bloodiest year since the end of the second intifada

According to the UN, last year was the deadliest year in the West Bank since the end of the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising from 2000 to 2005. The UN envoy to the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, said he was “deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing spiral of violence in the occupied West Bank”.

The Palestinian government declared three days of national mourning. Thousands attended the funerals in Jenin. The remains of the nine victims were wrapped in Palestinian flags. The Arab League called for international action and condemned the “bloody massacre” under “the direct orders” of the Netanyahu government. The radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said Israel would “pay the price for the Jenin massacre.”

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