JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians, including two minors and at least one gunman, in the occupied West Bank late on Saturday and early Sunday, medics and local sources said.
The West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood, has experienced a surge in violence parallel to the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, now in its eighth week.
Five of the overnight deaths occurred in the city of Jenin, which the Israeli military said it raided to detain a Palestinian wanted for alleged involvement in a lethal West Bank ambush in August as well as 20 other suspects.
During the raid, Israeli forces “engaged with armed terrorists and killed five of them”, the military said in a statement.
The Jenin Brigades, a local armed group, said its fighters battled the Israeli troops. It did not immediately provide details on any casualties, but local witnesses said at least one of the Palestinians killed in Jenin was a known Brigades member.
The WAFA official Palestinian news agency said that Israeli forces stormed Jenin “from several directions, firing bullets and surrounding government hospitals and the headquarters of the Red Crescent Society”.
A sixth Palestinian fatality was in Yatma, a village near Nablus city, and another was near a Jewish settlement outside the West Bank town of El Bireh, Palestinian officials said. There was no immediate comment from Israel on those incidents.
Six other Palestinians were injured during the shooting in Jenin, the Palestinian health ministry said. The Israeli military said one of its aircraft had attacked a group of gunmen, wounding several of them.
A number of Palestinian factions called for a strike in Jenin on Sunday to “mourn the souls of the martyrs”, the WAFA said.
About 200 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that triggered the Gaza war, according to United Nations figures. Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank in the same period, the figures show.
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Moaz Abd-Alaziz; Writing by Adam Makary; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Edmund Klamann and David Goodman)