Palestinians wounded after Israeli forces raid camp in West Bank
At least 13 Palestinians have been injured after Israeli forces raided the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp to arrest 10 people.
At least 13 Palestinians have been injured, two of them seriously, after Israeli forces fired bullets, missile and tear gas during a raid of the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in Jericho city in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
The Israeli forces fired an anti-tank guided missile during the raid to arrest Palestinians, Israeli radio confirmed.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society accused Israel of blocking access to ambulances. They were eventually allowed to treat the wounded after the operation ended.
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the five-hour raid was “a continuation” of the incident from last Saturday in Jenin, near Jericho.
“Jericho, a city of 37,000 people, has been essentially closed off by the Israeli military for a week as Israeli forces hunted for suspects in a drive-by shooting near an illegal Israeli settlement not far from Jericho.
“The Israeli forces have arrested 10 people which among them, we understand, were the suspects wanted for that shooting,” Smith said.
Saturday’s raid comes a week after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp, the largest military raid on the camp in the northern occupied West Bank since 2002.
“This comes really as part of a very violent beginning of the year in the occupied West Bank – 36 Palestinians have been killed so far,” Al Jazeera’s Smith said.
“And all of this on the back of this new far-right Israeli government – which has a cabinet minister in it, elected by settlers determined to advance the settlement project in the occupied West Bank and make life even harder for Palestinians than it already is.”
Preventing access to medical care is a systematic feature of the Israeli military's operations in the occupied Palestinian territory. https://t.co/VN5phsUBuL
— Rohan Talbot (@rohantalbot) February 4, 2023
Aqbat Jabr, one of 19 Palestinian refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, is home to more than 8,000 people. The United Nations Refugee Agency says people there have inadequate shelter and sewage facilities.
The recent surge in killings by Israeli forces comes as part of intensified nightly raids, particularly in the northern occupied cities of Jenin and Nablus, under the banner of crushing limited Palestinian armed resistance against Israeli occupation.
Civilians confronting Israeli forces during raids and innocent bystanders have been killed, as well as Palestinian fighters in targeted assassinations and during armed clashes.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to arm Israelis with guns amid escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory. The measures came in the wake of the killing of seven Israelis by a Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem.
On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead an unarmed Palestinian man, Abdullah Sami Qalalweh, 26, in the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.
The toll of 36 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces so far this year includes eight children and an elderly woman, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Separately on Friday, the United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk called on Israel “to ensure that all operations of its security forces in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, are carried out with full respect for international human rights law”.
He stressed adherence to “the rules regulating the use of force in law enforcement operations”, according to a statement from his office.