Six Palestinians killed in Israeli army raid in Jenin
One of them was suspected of the murder of two settlers, Sunday February 26, near Nablus.
Correspondent in Jerusalem
On Wednesday, in broad daylight, the Israeli army carried out a raid in the Jenin refugee camp, one of the strongholds of the Palestinian resistance, in the north of the West Bank. At the end of the afternoon, the balance sheet was six dead and sixteen injured according to the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority. Among the victims was a 49-year-old man believed to be a member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. He was released a few months ago after spending eight years in Israeli prisons.
In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed his death and presented him as the author of the attack perpetrated ten days ago in the town of Huwara, near Nablus, which s culminated in the murder of two Israelis.
Simultaneously, the Israeli army intervened in the Askar refugee camp, near Nablus, where it arrested the three sons of this man. On social media, videos showed Wednesday a house destroyed by an anti-tank missile and presented as the one where the Palestinian activists were found and attacked by Israeli forces, in Jenin.
During this operation, two Israeli soldiers were injured, and two Israeli army drones were shot down. On another video, we can see images of a jubilant crowd brandishing one of these devices, which Islamic Jihad claims to be destroyed.
71 dead Palestinians and 14 Israelis
This operation takes place in a climate of great tension in the West Bank. Since Sunday, Israeli forces have intervened in a dozen towns and villages for “counter-terrorism operations” during which they have, according to press releases, arrested “suspects” and seized weapons – mostly M-16 rifles, ammunition and vehicles. They have, each time, received jets of Molotov cocktails or stones.
Since the beginning of the year, the conflict has killed 71 Palestinians and 14 Israelis.
Extremist settlers also continue to fan the embers. On Monday evening, some returned to the village of Huwara, south of Nablus, which had been ransacked last week. New scenes of vandalism and clashes between Israelis and Palestinians took place. On Tuesday, a video claimed to have been shot the day before in Huwara showed young settlers and Israeli soldiers dancing together in the street, shouting at Palestinian residents.
The spokesman for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority denounced on Tuesday the fact that the Israeli government “counters” regional and international efforts to reduce pressure in the West Bank. Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken again met with senior Israeli officials to express his concern and ask them to take steps to restore calm.
While the imminent arrival of the month of Ramadan raises fears of a further escalation in tensions, a meeting is scheduled for next week, under the aegis of Jordan, Egypt and the United States, to try to find measures to calm things down. That of last week, in Aqaba, Jordan, already seems a long way off.