JENIN: Israeli forces on Thursday killed four Palestinians including a teenager in the West Bank, the latest deadly raid on Jenin which Israel said targeted “armed suspects”.
Dozens of masked, heavily armed men fired into the air as they paraded through the streets for the funerals of the four dead, including two who Palestinian groups and the Israeli army identified as militants.
The Israeli army intially said troops “neutralised” two suspected militants in the northern West Bank city, accusing them of “terrorist activities”.
An army spokesperson later added that “armed gunmen fired at the forces, the forces responded with live fire.”
One of those killed “was neutralised after attempting to attack the forces with a crowbar”.
The Palestinian health ministry said 23 others had been wounded in the raid, five of them seriously.
It identified those killed as Omar Awadin, 16, Luay al-Zughair, 37, Nidal Khazim, 28 and Youssef Shreem, 29.
Islamic Jihad claimed Khazim as one of its members, and Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said Shreem belonged to their group. The Israeli statement claimed they were both Islamic Jihad members.
In a statement, Islamic Jihad said Israel “will pay the price for these crimes”.
Mahmoud Al Saadi of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin told AFP that “an Israeli undercover unit stormed the city centre’s Abu Bakr street”.
Sharm Al Sheikh meeting
The raid comes days before a planned meeting between Palestinian and Israeli officials on Sunday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm Al Sheikh for talks aimed at reducing tensions ahead of Ramadan.
Islamist movement Hamas, which rules in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, called the latest raid a “crime”, warning it will not go “unanswered”.
Israeli forces have launched numerous raids on the city of Jenin and its eponymous refugee camp in recent months targeting Palestinian militants.
These raids have killed more than 20 Palestinians since the start of the year.