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West Bank violence

Israeli Forces Escalate Operations in West Bank, Resulting in Eight Palestinian Deaths, Say Health Officials

According to Palestinian health officials, Israeli military operations in the West Bank have led to the deaths of at least eight Palestinians within a 24-hour timeframe. This escalation occurred as the tentative ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza persisted into its third day.

Recent weeks have witnessed a spike in West Bank violence following an attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, which ignited a severe conflict in Gaza. Israeli forces have since been actively engaged in the West Bank, resulting in numerous Palestinian fatalities and several arrests. There has also been an increase in attacks by Jewish settlers in the area.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that five of the deaths occurred in Jenin, a known militant stronghold, with the remaining three in different locations across the West Bank since Saturday. Among the deceased was a teenager killed in al-Bireh in the central West Bank.

Israeli military sources stated that their forces entered Jenin’s refugee camp to apprehend a Palestinian suspected of murdering an Israeli father and son at a car wash earlier in the year in the West Bank. The Israeli military, in their Sunday statement, did not acknowledge any skirmishes or Palestinian casualties but confirmed ongoing operations in Jenin.

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The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Israeli snipers positioned on rooftops and military bulldozers causing damage to roads and infrastructure. These reports are yet to be independently verified.

Following the Hamas attack, Israel tightened security in the West Bank, closing key crossings and checkpoints. This increase in violence follows a year marked by intensified Israeli raids, arrests in the West Bank, and deadly Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets. Prior to the Hamas offensive, 2023 was already recorded as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in over two decades.

Amidst these tensions, Israel and Hamas have intermittently ceased hostilities, allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza and facilitating a hostage-for-prisoner exchange. The Israeli campaign has resulted in over 13,300 Palestinian deaths in Gaza, as reported by the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry. This figure includes both combatants and civilians. The conflict has devastated large areas of Gaza, displacing approximately 1.7 million Palestinians.

In a recent surprise offensive, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza were responsible for approximately 1,200 deaths in Israel, taking around 240 hostages. Israeli forces have suffered several dozen casualties since commencing their ground invasion into Gaza.

Israel gained control of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem during the 1967 Mideast war. These territories are integral to the Palestinian aspiration for an independent state.

This report includes contributions from Samy Magdy of Big Big News, reporting from Cairo.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about West Bank violence

How many Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the recent West Bank operations?

At least eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank within a 24-hour period, as reported by Palestinian health officials.

Where did the majority of the Palestinian deaths occur in the West Bank?

Five of the Palestinian deaths occurred in Jenin, a known militant stronghold in the West Bank.

What was the Israeli military’s objective in Jenin?

The Israeli military entered the Jenin refugee camp with the objective of arresting a Palestinian suspected of the earlier murder of an Israeli father and son at a West Bank car wash.

Has there been any change in the status of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza?

The fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza remained in effect, entering its third day amidst the escalated operations in the West Bank.

What has been the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict in 2023?

Prior to the Hamas offensive, the year 2023 was already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in over two decades, with over 13,300 Palestinians killed in Gaza during the Israeli offensive.

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