JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military shot and killed two Palestinians on Friday during a raid into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported, the latest bloodshed in the deadliest round of fighting in the area in seven years.
Fierce clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants erupted in the camp in the northern West Bank, a frequent flash point for confrontations, Palestinian officials said.
The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that dozens of armored vehicles rolled into the camp and Palestinians protested violently outside the government hospital.
The Israeli army confirmed it was operating in the Jenin refugee camp, without immediately elaborating. Two Palestinians were killed by live rounds, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported, without giving their identities.
Israel has been carrying out nightly arrest raids in the West Bank since the spring, when a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis killed 19 people.
Israel says its operations are aimed at dismantling militant infrastructure and preventing future attacks, and that it has been forced to act due to the ineffectiveness of Palestinian security forces. The Palestinians see the nightly incursions into their cities, villages and towns as Israel’s way of deepening its occupation of lands they want for their hoped-for state and undermining the security forces.
The Israeli raids have killed over 120 Palestinians, making this year the deadliest since 2015. Most of those killed are said by Israel to have been militants but local youths protesting the incursions as well as some civilians have also been killed in the violence. Hundreds have been rounded up, with many placed in so-called administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold them without trial or charge.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.
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