Six Palestinians, including the perpetrator of a recent attack that claimed the lives of two Israelis, were killed on Tuesday (March 7) in a new Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, the latest episode in a wave of violence that seems don't want to back down.
Witnesses say Israeli forces surrounded a house in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, and fierce clashes pitted them against armed men entrenched inside, but also Palestinian fighters outside. Israeli forces fired two rockets at the house, these witnesses said, and an Agence France-Presse photographer saw several Israeli armored vehicles moving through the streets of the camp, a city within a city.
Act of "Total War"
The Palestinian Health Ministry announced the deaths of six Palestinians, five men aged 22 to 49. At least 16 other people were injured by gunfire, two of whom are in serious condition, according to the ministry.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in a statement that Israeli forces had "eliminated the heinous terrorist" who carried out the February 26 attack that claimed the lives of two brothers living in a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank, territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
In a statement reproduced by the official Palestinian agency Wafa, Nabil Abou Roudeina, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, denounced as an act of "total war" the use of rockets against houses in the city center and accused the government of being "responsible for [a] dangerous escalation which threatens to inflame the situation and destroy all efforts to restore stability".
The Israeli army said in a brief statement that the Israeli security forces were "in operation" in the Palestinian autonomous area, in the Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups.
A Telegram messaging account linked to the Jenin Brigades said fighters from the local armed group were "engaged in heavy fighting" against Israeli forces inside the camp.
Soon Ramadan and Passover
Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 71 Palestinians (including combatants and civilians, including minors) and 13 Israelis (including minors and security forces) and one Ukrainian woman , according to a count by Agence France-Presse based on official Israeli and Palestinian sources.
The Israeli military incursion comes amid celebrations of the Jewish holiday of Purim, and against a backdrop of rising violence since the start of the year after one of the most vulnerable governments took office in late December. right in the history of Israel.
After a rare meeting under the auspices of Jordan, Egypt and the United States in Aqaba, Jordan, Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged on February 26 to "prevent further violence" and to work towards "de-escalation".
But even as this meeting was taking place, two young Israelis living in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank were shot dead in the north of this occupied Palestinian territory, and the following night, Jewish settlers attacked the Palestinian town of Huwara in retaliation, setting fire to several buildings.
As the start of Ramadan approaches, during which Passover is due to fall this year in early April, many observers fear that an incident on the esplanade of the Mosques of Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, built on the ruins of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70, degenerated into an outbreak of violence.