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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

An Israeli raid left at least 11 Palestinians dead in the West Bank

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Among the dead is a commander of the military arm of Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Islamist group itself reported.

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The Israeli army did not comment on the balance and said it had “no information to give” about the operation for now.

A Palestine TV journalist, identified as Mohamed Al Khatib, was injured, according to a Palestinian TV reporter.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa said earlier that two journalists were injured in the military incursion, which comes in one of the most violent periods in years in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with 59 Palestinians killed so far this year.

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An AFP journalist said he saw Israeli soldiers throw tear gas canisters at Palestinian youths who were throwing stones at military vehicles and burning tires.

Witnesses cited by Wafa said the army entered the Old City of Nablus at rush hour in the morning and surrounded a house while firing in all directions.

Residents confronted the soldiers, who, in addition to firing live bullets, launched tear gas and stun grenades at homes and businesses in the area, causing numerous cases of suffocation in the densely populated Old City.

The Red Crescent in Nablus said the Israeli army prevented its ambulances from reaching and evacuating the wounded.

The spokesman for the Palestinian Presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeina, condemned the continued aggression and held the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation, which is pushing the region towards tension and explosion.

“The crime committed yesterday by the occupying forces in the city of Nablus reaffirms the importance of our demand that the international community act immediately to end Israeli crimes against our people, their land and their holy sites, and end to unilateral Israeli measures,” Rudeina said in a statement.

With the death of these 11 people, there are already 60 Palestinians killed in Israeli incursions since the beginning of the year, including 10 minors.

Last year, nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, making 2022 the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to figures from Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

“Preventing further violence is an urgent priority,” Tor Wennesland, the UN Middle East mediator, said Monday.

Israel claims that most of those killed are “terrorists” and that its raids are aimed at “dismantling” the networks of those militants to thwart future attacks, while the Palestinians see it as an ever-stronger entrenchment of the Israeli occupation.

Israel has illegally occupied and colonized the West Bank and East Jerusalem since it captured them in a war against Arab countries. The Palestinians claim the territories to found an independent state, an idea that most of the international community considers the best solution to the conflict.

Source: Ambito

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