Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas declares three days of mourning as Israeli military kills many, including an elderly woman, in occupied West Bank's Jenin refugee camp.
Israeli forces have killed at least 10 Palestinians and wounded several others in a military raid on the occupied West Bank's Jenin refugee camp, Palestine's officials said.
Thursday's military raid is the deadliest single military raid in the occupied territory in two decades.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA), told reporters several hours after the raid that the Palestinian leadership had ordered a halt to the ties that Palestinian security forces maintain with Israel in a shared effort to contain Palestinian resistance movements.
Previous attempts to suspend this coordination have been short-lived, in part due to US and Israeli pressure to maintain it.
Palestinian officials added that Israeli forces also used tear gas inside a hospital children's ward during the raid.
In a separate statement earlier in the day, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al Kaila charged that "occupation forces stormed Jenin Government Hospital and intentionally fired tear gas canisters at the pediatric department in the hospital".
She described the situation in the refugee camp as "critical" and said Israeli forces were preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded.
Israel's army declined to comment when asked by AFP news agency about the health minister's tear gas allegation.
The military has said only that its "forces are operating in Jenin".
Thursday's fatalities bring the number of Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank so far this year to 30, most of whom were shot by Israeli forces.
Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu al Rub told AFP that residents were living in a "real state of war".
Thursday's deadly raid comes after similar raids in 2022 — the deadliest year across the Palestinian territory since the United Nations records began in 2005.
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I am extremely alarmed by the news of renewed lethal violence in Jenin. While facts and circumstances need to be ascertained, I recall the occupying power's obligation to ensure that civilian persons are protected from all forms of violence at all times. pic.twitter.com/HQzy9enpvc— Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur oPt (@FranceskAlbs) January 26, 2023
Thursday's gunbattle erupted when the Israeli military conducted a daytime military raid in the refugee camp that it claimed was meant to prevent an imminent attack against Israelis.
The camp, where the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has a major foothold, has been a focus of near-nightly Israeli arrests and raids.
At least one of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces was identified by Palestinians as a militant, but it was not clear if any others were affiliated with an armed group.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified one of the Palestinians killed as a 61-year-old woman, Magda Obaid.
Israel's new national security minister, far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who seeks to grant legal immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians, posted a video of himself beside the Israeli police chief, beaming triumphantly.
He congratulated security forces on a "successful operation," saying the government gives "backing to our fighters in the war against the terrorists."
Palestinians in the refugee camp dug a mass grave for the dead and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning, ordering flags to fly at half-staff.
The Palestinian presidency said the raid on Jenin was happening "under international silence".
"This is what encourages the occupation government to commit massacres against our people in full view of the world," said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesperson for Abbas.
Palestine's health minister called for an urgent meeting with the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross over the events in Jenin.
Spokesman for the PA, Abu Rudeineh, said that the Palestinians planned to file complaints with the UN Security Council, International Criminal Court and other international bodies.
Meanwhile, the Hamas movement, which governs Gaza, also threatened revenge. Violent escalations in the occupied West Bank have previously triggered retaliatory rocket fire from the movement.
Thursday's violence comes a day after Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in separate incidents.
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