Israeli troops killed five Palestinians, including three terrorists, throughout the West Bank on Friday, adding to the escalation of bloodshed in the occupied area that has accompanied Israel’s campaign in Gaza.
The killings brought the total number of Palestinians murdered in West Bank violence to 205 since the Gaza conflict began on Oct. 7, making it the bloodiest time in the area since the early 2000s.
Israel claims that the crackdown is directed at Hamas, Gaza’s ruling party, and other violent organizations active in the West Bank. However, rights groups claim that Israeli tactics, including as violent raids, home demolitions, and arrests, are becoming more common.
On October 7, Hamas terrorists in Gaza spilled into Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 more. According to health officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave, Israel started a war that has killed over 11,000 lives in Gaza, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Simultaneously, Israel has clamped down on suspected militants throughout the West Bank.
According to local journalists, the new fighting began Thursday night when Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers moved into the Jenin refugee camp and placed snipers atop multiple houses. Gunfights erupted in many sites, attracting Hamas terrorists.
According to the Israeli military, at one point, an Israeli aircraft attacked terrorists who tossed bombs at Israeli soldiers. Airstrikes, which were historically uncommon on the West Bank, have grown more prevalent since the war began. Three individuals were slain, and the extremist group Islamic Jihad claimed them as members.
According to Palestinian health officials, at least 15 individuals were injured, four of them were critically. Patients flocked to the adjacent Ibn Sina Hospital’s emergency room. However, Israeli soldiers followed.
Dr. Tawfeeq Al-Shobaki, head surgeon, stated that about 4 a.m., Israeli military vehicles encircled the compound and ordered the medical staff to leave. According to Al-Shobaki, a small handful of paramedics stepped outside, but not a single emergency room doctor left the hospital.
“No doctors or nurses responded to their calls because our patients were very injured and some were dying,” Al-Shobaki stated in a statement. He said that Israeli troops questioned the paramedics before approaching the emergency department drop-off location but did not enter the hospital.
Jenin’s refugee camp, a densely populated urban neighborhood known as a militant stronghold, has seen near-nightly incursions since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, but Al-Shobaki said it was the first time Israeli forces ordered all emergency room staff out at gunpoint. Israel said that its personnel raced to the hospital in search of militants hiding inside ambulances, a claim it has made in the past against militants in Gaza.
“We are still okay because we have seen what has happened in Gaza.” “We’re not worried yet,” Al-Shobaki remarked. “”However, we never know what is going to happen next.”
According to the IDF, two Palestinians who fired at Israeli soldiers in the southern city of Hebron were killed by Israeli fire on Friday. The attack occurred a day after three Palestinian assailants killed an Israeli soldier and injured three others at a West Bank checkpoint before being slain.
The Israeli military stated Friday that it has previously mapped the checkpoint attackers’ homes, which is a normal preliminary to home demolition. Although Israel claims that the demolitions discourage future assaults, Palestinian rights groups have long condemned the practice as collective punishment.
“When it’s clear who the attacker is, they move fast,” said Jessica Montell, executive director of HaMoked, an Israeli organization that offers legal assistance to Palestinians. “These days they are moving quickly.”