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Three Palestinians die in West Bank, week after Tel Aviv attack

Israel pours additional forces into West Bank

By AFP - Apr 15,2022 - Last updated at Apr 15,2022

Mourners carry the body of Amer Elyan, draped in the Palestinian flag and the flag of the Fateh movement, during the funeral in Silwad north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on Thursday (AFP photo)

JENIN, Palestinian Territories — Three Palestinians died on Thursday as Israeli forces launched fresh raids into the West Bank flashpoint district of Jenin, a week after a gunman from there went on a deadly shooting spree in Tel Aviv.

Israel has poured additional forces into the West Bank and is reinforcing its wall and fence barrier with the territory after four deadly attacks in Israel have claimed 14 lives, most of them civilians, in the past three weeks.

In a clash near Jenin on Thursday morning "two youths died of injuries sustained in an Israeli attack", the Palestinian health ministry said.

Hours later, the ministry announced the death of 45-year-old Palestinian father of six, who had been "critically wounded by Israeli bullets" on Wednesday in Beita, south of Nablus. Local sources named the man as Fawaz Hamayel.

The Israeli forces said about clashes on Thursday, its sixth straight day of "counterterrorism activities", it came under attack from a crowd in Kafr Dan, a village northwest of Jenin.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has given Israeli forces a free hand to "defeat terror" in the territory which Israel has occupied since the 1967 war, warning that there would "not be limits" for the campaign.

Palestinian security sources named the two men killed on Thursday as Mustafa Abu Al Rub and Chas Kamamji — a brother of Islamic Jihad member Ayham Kamamji, who was among six prisoners who escaped Israel's high-security Gilboa prison through a tunnel in September before being recaptured.

A total of 21 Palestinians have been killed in the latest wave of violence since March 22, including assailants in the anti-Israel attacks, according to an AFP tally.

 

'Intensity will increase' 

 

On Wednesday, Mohammad Assaf, a 34-year-old lawyer, and two Palestinian youths lost their lives in different incidents in the West Bank.

Islamic Jihad, the main armed Islamist movement after Hamas, hailed those two young Palestinians, who were being buried on Thursday, as “heroic martyrs”.

Israeli forces have arrested more than 200 Palestinians since early April, about half of them in the past six days, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club.

Israel’s main focus has been the northern district of Jenin and the town’s refugee camp, a bastion of militant groups including Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, affiliated with the Fateh movement, and the Islamists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel is seeking to arrest relatives and supporters of the 28-year-old Tel Aviv shooter, Raad Hazem, who was killed after his gun rampage, and who has been hailed as a “hero” in his hometown of Jenin.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Wednesday charged that Israeli forces in the operations “murder for the sake of murder ... without the slightest regard for international law”.

The West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem declared general strikes Thursday in protest at the ongoing military operations.

The rise in violence comes during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and before the Jewish festival of Passover and Christian Easter.

Last year during Ramadan, tensions in Jerusalem flared into 11 days of war between Israel and the Hamas militant group ruling the Gaza Strip.

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