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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in West Bank raid — ministry

Israel strikes Gaza as violent protest rocks enclave

By AFP - Sep 24,2023 - Last updated at Sep 24,2023

Mourners carry the body of Palestinians killed in an Israeli raid Osaid Abu Ali (left), 21, and Abd Al Rahman Abu Daghash, 32, during their funeral at the Nur Shams refugee camp near the northern city of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank on Sunday (AFP photo)

TULKAREM/GAZA, Palestine — Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in a pre-dawn raid Sunday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, as the army confirmed it dismantled a militant "operational command centre" in the occupied territory.

Violence has surged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since early last year, particularly in the West Bank where eight Palestinians have now been killed in Israeli incursions since Tuesday.

"Two Palestinians were killed by live Israeli bullets to the head," the ministry said.

The army said one of its soldiers was "moderately injured by gunshot fragments" during clashes in Nur Shams refugee camp near the town.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the two killed as Osaid Abu Ali, 21, and Abd Al-Rahman Abu Daghash, 32.

Palestinian group Hamas said that "martyr Osaid Abu Ali" was one of its fighters.

Ibrahim Al Nimer, a representative of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club advocacy group in the camp, told AFP that "the army entered the camp after 2:00am... and demolished streets and some houses".

The occupation army said it had dismantled an "operational command centre" inside a building which "contained observation devices, computers and technological devices".

“During the activity, suspects opened fire and hurled explosive devices at the forces, who responded with live fire,” the army said.


Surge in army raids 


An AFP journalist who toured the Nur Shams camp hours after the raid saw that a roof of a building and its walls had fully caved in, as residents inspected the damage.

Several military vehicles had entered the camp during the night, resident Omar Sabhan told AFP.

“The situation was very scary. Snipers were stationed... and they shot anything that moved,” he said.

He added that residents of the camp backed Palestinian “resistance” groups.

“Everyone wants this resistance. This is a legitimate right,” he said.

Later on Sunday, crowds of mourners attended the funeral of the two Palestinians.

Israeli forces had raided the same camp on September 5, and a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group had been shot dead at the time.

Recent months have seen a surge in military raids and a rise in Palestinian attacks on Israelis, as well as an increase in Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

In early July, the Israeli army carried out its biggest raid in years on the Jenin refugee camp in which at least 13 Palestinians were killed, including militants and children.

Violence in Gaza 


The Israeli army said it launched new drone strikes on the Gaza Strip Sunday targeting “two military posts” of the Islamist group Hamas after a protest by Palestinians turned violent.

The latest strikes are among a series that have come amid near-daily demonstrations at the border by Palestinians after Israel closed the Erez crossing from Gaza.

The Israeli army “struck two military posts belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation” in the Bureij and Jabalya areas where “violent riots” were taking place, the army said in a statement.

“An explosive device was hurled from the centre of Bureij toward soldiers, adjacent to the security border in the Gaza Strip,” it said, adding that the troops did not suffer any injuries.

The Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza said that five Palestinians had been injured “by Israeli bullets” during a demonstration along the border.

Gaza has been rocked by daily protests since Israeli authorities closed the Erez Crossing, the only gateway for pedestrians entering Israel from the coastal enclave.

Protesters have often resorted to burning tyres, throwing stones and petrol bombs at Israeli troops, who have responded with tear gas and live bullets.

Thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza have been prevented from entering Israel by the closure of the crossing, which an Israeli NGO, Gisha, condemned as “collective punishment”.

Israel has issued work permits to some 18,500 Gazans, COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, told AFP on Tuesday.

Since September 13, six Palestinians have been killed and dozens wounded during violence at the border, according to figures from the health ministry in Gaza.

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