Israeli army confirmed an operation in the city of Jenin was under way — the latest in a series of violent actions targeting Palestinians living in areas with presence of illegal Israeli settlements.
An Israeli army raid killed at least four Palestinians, including a teenage boy, near the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, Palestinian officials said.
It was the latest bloodshed in a year-long wave of violence in the region triggered by attacks carried out by illegal Israeli settlers and targeting of Palestinians by Israeli forces.
The Israeli military confirmed its troops were operating in the Jenin refugee camp, but provided no further details.
The area has been the centre of Palestinian protests in recent weeks following attacks carried out by illegal Israeli settlers, including the burning of scores of homes in the town of Huwara.
The Palestinian health ministry identified three of the dead as Youssef Shreem, 29, Nidal Khazim, 28, and Omar Awadin, 16.
The identity of the fourth was not immediately known.
Palestinian medics had earlier put the death toll at three.
There were "three martyrs from occupation (Israeli) bullets in Jenin," a ministry statement said in a separate statement.
Amateur video taken by people in Jenin appeared to show a crowd of Palestinians surrounding a car that people suspected carried undercover Israeli troops.
Another clip appeared to show Israeli military vehicles towing the car away.
Thursday’s deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed since the start of the year to 83 as Israel has stepped up arrest raids in the West Bank in response to a series of attacks last spring. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed 14 people in 2023 .
Last week, at least three Palestinians were also killed in Jenin, after Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle they were driving.
Tensions have been running high across the occupied West Bank in recent weeks amid repeated Israeli incursions and killings in Palestinian towns.
The UN considers the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as illegal under international law. The Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas are also considered as illegal.
Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to the leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem.
Palestinian attacks against Israelis during that same time killed 30 people.
Israel claims most of the dead were militants.
But many young protesters, some in their early teens, and others not involved in confrontations, including three men over 60, have been killed. Most of the protesters were unarmed.
The current round of violence is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in years.
Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for their future independent state.
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