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Israeli forces kill three Palestinians and wound more than 10 in attack on West Bank, Palestinians say

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By Ali Sawafta and Raneen Sawafta

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed three Palestinians and wounded at least 13 others on Thursday during an attack on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, the Palestinian Health Ministry and medics said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it was treating at least six people who had been shot, four who suffered shrapnel wounds and one person who had been run over by a military jeep. They said the teams were shot at while they were recovering some of the dead.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to questions about the raid.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday at the end of a security review in the West Bank that Israel, while facing “complicated international pressure,” was determined to change the security reality in the area.

“Israel is engaged in a difficult battle on many fronts. We are fighting in the south, we are fighting in the north, we are also fighting in Judea and Samaria,” he said, using the biblical name for the West Bank.

The West Bank is among the areas Israel seized during the 1967 Middle East war. The Palestinians want this to be the core of their future independent state and say the expansion of Israeli settlements in the area is an obstacle to achieving that goal.

Since the start of the Gaza war last October, the West Bank, where Palestinians living under Israeli military rule exercise limited self-rule, has turned into a secondary front.

But violence was already increasing there, with the United Nations reporting that a record number of Palestinians had been killed in 2023 due to increasing military incursions and settler attacks.

According to the UN, more than 500 Palestinians and twelve Israelis have been killed in the West Bank since October 7.

A video shared on social media, which Reuters could not immediately verify, appeared to show a helicopter firing into the Jenin refugee camp, a densely populated urban area.

Residents of both the camp and the town reported hearing gunshots.

The Jenin camp has been a focal point of raids by the Israeli military, which says it carries out such operations to arrest suspects and prevent attacks on Israelis. In a raid in May, the army carried out an airstrike on the camp, a rarity in the West Bank.

Some Palestinian groups say they are waging an armed struggle to resist Israel’s decades-long military occupation.

According to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), approximately 23,600 residents of the camp were registered as refugees – people who were expelled or fled their homes during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, or their descendants.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Raneen Sawafta; additional reporting and writing by Henriette Chacar; editing by Andrew Heavens and Josie Kao)

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