TULKAREM: Palestinian officials accused Israel of a “brutal crime” on Tuesday after footage shared on social media appeared to show a military vehicle running over a dead militant in the occupied West Bank.
The foreign ministry of the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, said the footage was from a military operation in the city of Tulkarem.
Israel’s military confirmed they had killed three “terrorists” on Monday night and engaged in gun battles around Tulkarem, but they have not yet responded to AFP requests for comment on the footage.
The Palestinian ministry said the incident summed up the “culture of hatred” fostered by Israeli forces.
“This complex and brutal crime is not the first and will not be the last in the series of crimes of the occupation and terrorist settler militia members,” the ministry said in a statement.
Violence in the West Bank has surged to levels unseen in nearly two decades since October 7, when attacks on Israel by Palestinian armed group Hamas sparked all-out war, still raging in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces carry out regular raids in the West Bank, often triggering gun battles with Palestinian militants.
An Israeli police spokesman said their forces had carried out an operation with other agencies in Tulkarem on Monday to arrest a “wanted terrorist”.
“Forces arrested the wanted man after he was hit by fire from our forces,” the spokesman said, confirming three other militants were killed.
The police gave no detail of the possible charges against the suspect.
Hamas named the three dead men and said they were fighters for the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.
Large crowds of people marched through Tulkarem on Tuesday chanting slogans during the funerals of the men, an AFP correspondent reported.
The footage shared on social media appears to be taken from a security camera and shows an armoured vehicle slowly driving over an apparently lifeless body.
The vehicle then stops, restarts and drives off, crushing the body again with its back wheels.
Other footage, apparently taken from the same camera, shows an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and militants.
Israeli army raids and settler attacks in the West Bank have killed at least 333 people since October 7, according to the Ramallah-based Palestinian health ministry.
Israel has occupied the West Bank, home to about three million Palestinians, since 1967. Some 490,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements deemed illegal under international law.