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Israeli raid in West Bank kills four — Palestinian ministry

23 wounded in raid in northern West Bank, five of them seriously

By AFP - Mar 16,2023 - Last updated at Mar 16,2023

Mourners react during the funeral of Palestinians killed in an Israeli raid earlier in the day, during their funeral in Jenin city in the occupied West Bank, on Thursday (AFP photo)

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Israeli forces on Thursday killed four Palestinians including a teenager in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, the latest deadly raid on Jenin.

The Israeli forces said they "neutralised" two suspects accusing them of "terrorist activities".

The Palestinian health ministry said 23 others had been wounded in the raid in the northern West Bank city, five of them seriously.

It identified those killed as Omar Awadin, 16, Luay Al Zughair, 37, Nidal Khazim, 28 and Youssef Shreem, 29.

The army statement said Khazim and Shreem were both residents of the Jenin refugee camp and members of Islamic Jihad.

The group said Israel "will pay the price for these crimes" without identifying the two as its members.

Mahmoud Al Saadi of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin told AFP that "an Israeli undercover unit stormed the city centre's Abu Bakr street".

The raid comes days before a planned meeting between Palestinian and Israeli officials on Sunday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for talks aimed at reducing tensions ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Islamist movement Hamas, which rules in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, called the latest raid a "crime", warning it will not go "unanswered".

Israeli forces have launched numerous raids on the city of Jenin and its eponymous refugee camp in recent months targeting Palestinian militants.

These raids have killed more than 20 Palestinians since the start of the year, including seven earlier this month and 10 in January.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the June War of 1967.

Since the start of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 85 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians.

On Tuesday, a senior Hamas official warned Israel his group would react to any possible “violations” at Jerusalem’s holy sites during Ramadan, which begins later in March.

Salah Al Aruri, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, said the risk of escalation entirely “depends on the Israeli occupation’s violations across Palestine and at Al Aqsa mosque” located in annexed east Jerusalem.

Al Aqsa, a Jordan-administered mosque compound, is the third holiest site in Islam. It is built on top of what Jews call the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

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