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Israeli forces kill 10 in West Bank

By AFP - Jan 17,2024 - Last updated at Jan 17,2024

An Israeli soldier gestures towards a Palestinian Red Cross ambulance at the entrance of the Tulkarem refugee camp in Tulkarem, in the occupied West Bank, on Wednesday (AFP photo)

TULKAREM, Palestinian Territories — Israeli forces killed 10 people in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry and the Israeli forces said, as violence in the territory sees no let-up.

Five people were killed inside Tulkarem refugee camp, the ministry said.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society and an official at the camp said Israeli strikes had killed multiple people.

"The camp is besieged by aircraft and heavy numbers of the Israeli forces and tanks," Faisal Salama told AFP.

Explosions and gunfire were heard in the camp as thick smoke billowed into the sky and Israeli vehicles patrolled the area, an AFP correspondent reported.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the June War of 1967 and its troops regularly carry out incursions into Palestinian communities.

 

Woken by an explosion 

 

A separate incident near Balata refugee camp, east of the city of Nablus, killed five fighters with the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas's Fateh Party, it said in a statement.

The group and the Israeli forces said Ahmed Abdullah Abu Shalal, a Palestinian fighter, had been killed.

Abu Shalal had been responsible for a "number of attacks" over the past year, including one in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces said.

Camp resident Sajed Hazeem said he was awoken at dawn by a loud explosion.

Minutes after the blast, an ambulance arrived at the scene but its access to the car was blocked by Israeli forces who arrived at the same time, Hazeem said.

"The army pulled out the bodies and after about half-an-hour it withdrew," he told AFP.

The Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah said the body of an "unidentified martyr killed by the occupation [Israel] in a bombing of a vehicle" had been received by a hospital in Nablus.

An AFP correspondent saw a pile of debris and the mangled remains of a car that was hit.

Since the start of the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza on October 7, the West Bank has experienced a level of violence not seen since the second Palestinian uprising, or intifada, between 2000 and 2005.

Israeli forces and attacks by settlers have killed at least 365 people in the territory, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Excluding occupied East Jerusalem, the territory is home to some 3 million Palestinians.

They live alongside around 490,000 Israelis, who reside in settlements which are illegal under international law.

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