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11 Palestinians killed in two-day Israeli raid on West Bank

Families forum release video of Israeli women troops being seized on Oct 7

By AFP

May 23, 2024 08:04 AM


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Israeli forces carried out raids in the West Bank city of Jenin for a second day Wednesday, an AFP correspondent reported, with at least 11 Palestinians killed in the fighting.

Smoke billowed over the city's refugee camp in the afternoon, with explosions and gunfire heard from inside, while soldiers in Israeli armoured vehicles fired at masked youths in the city centre, the correspondent said.

The Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah said Israeli forces had killed 11 people including four children, and wounded 25 during the fighting which began on Tuesday morning.

An AFP correspondent on Tuesday saw four bodies at Jenin's Khalil Suleiman government hospital morgue.

Israel's army said on Wednesday troops had "exchanged fire with armed men and killed a number of terrorists, including two terrorists who threw explosives at the forces".

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa and medical charity Doctors Without Borders reported that surgeon Usaeed Jabareen, from the government hospital, was among those killed on Tuesday.

A schoolteacher and a student were also among the dead, Wafa reported, quoting hospital director Wissam Bakr.

The Israeli army said it had raided the house of Ahmed Barakat, who was suspected of involvement in an attack on an Israeli civilian last year.

Meir Tamari, 32, was killed in May 2023 at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, medics and military officials said at the time.

Streets near the entrance to the Jenin camp were deserted on Wednesday afternoon, with drones buzzing overhead.

On the outskirts of the town, Israeli armoured vehicles were parked near a roundabout, while agricultural workers toiled on a farm across the road.

 

- Bastion of armed groups -

 

Palestinian militant group Hamas called the raid a "massacre" and deemed it "conclusive evidence of the criminal mentality that rules the occupying state and its ideological belief in killing our people".

The office of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas condemned the raid, saying in a statement on Wafa that Israel was "killing innocent people, doctors, and destroying the infrastructure of Palestinian hospitals, cities and villages".

Jenin has long been a stronghold of Palestinian militant groups, and the Israeli army routinely carries out raids into the city and adjacent camp.

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, has seen a surge in violence for more than a year, but especially so since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7.

At least 517 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli troops or settlers since the Gaza war broke out, according to Palestinian officials.

Attacks by Palestinians have killed at least 12 Israelis in the West Bank over the same period, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

The Gaza Strip has been gripped by more than seven months of war since Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,709 people in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

Families forum release video of Israeli women troops being seized on Oct 7

 

An Israeli campaign group on Wednesday released footage of five Israeli female soldiers being captured by Palestinian militants from a military base during Hamas's October 7 attack, after their families gave permission.

The three-minute clip showed the women sitting on the ground, some with blood on their faces, with their hands tied following their capture from the Nahal Oz base in southern Israel.

The footage was taken from a two-hour video filmed on a body camera by Hamas militants during the attack, the campaign group the Hostage and Missing Families Forum said in a statement.

"The footage reveals the violent, humiliating, and traumatising treatment the girls endured on the day of their abduction, their eyes filled with raw terror," the forum said as it released the footage to the media.

Towards the end of the clip, the women are seen being taken away by militants in a military jeep amid screams.

"It's time to act, otherwise the blood of my sister and other hostages will be on the hands" of the Israeli authorities, Sasha Ariev, sister of one of the seized soldiers, told AFP.

"Everyone has now seen these young girls taken captive in their pyjamas... the only victory is to bring them back quickly and alive."

After the base was stormed by Hamas militants on October 7, more than 50 Israeli soldiers were killed in the attack, 15 of whom were women.

Seven female soldiers were taken hostage and one has since been freed in an Israeli military operation, while the body of another was found and brought to Israel.

Hamas said the video footage was "manipulated" with a selection of images aimed at supporting "false allegations" to "tarnish the image of the resistance".

Some of the soldiers were bleeding or sustained minor injuries, "but there was no physical aggression against any of them", the Palestinian Islamist movement said in a statement.

 

- 'Never again' -

 

Hamas's unprecedented attack on October 7 resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 124 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under intense pressure from the families of the hostages to negotiate the return of their loved ones from Gaza.

Netanyahu vowed in a statement on Wednesday to continue fighting Hamas to "ensure what we have seen tonight never happens again".

His office later said that the war cabinet had asked the Israeli negotiating team "to continue negotiations for the return of the hostages".

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,709 people in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

The Israeli military says 287 soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of its ground offensive on October 27.


AFP


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