Israeli military raid in Jericho kills 'several Palestinians'
The Israeli army announced on Monday morning that it had killed “several armed assailants” during a raid on the Palestinian refugee camp of Aqabat Jabr, in the occupied West Bank, described as an “abominable massacre” by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
During this “counter-terrorism activity” in the nearby camp in the city of Jericho, intended to apprehend Hamas members suspected of being the perpetrators of a recent anti-Israeli attack in the area, “several armed assailants were killed after opening fire on (some) soldiers operating in the area,” the army wrote in a statement.
“Three (Palestinians) were hit by Israeli occupation bullets during attack on Jericho today, one of them, injured in the head, is in critical condition, undergoing surgery, and the other two, injured in the arms, are in stable condition”, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement.
The army rarely announces that it has killed Palestinians, except when it detains the bodies. For its part, the Palestinian ministry generally announces deaths only when the corpses are in the hands of Palestinian medical services.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called the Israeli raid an “abominable massacre” in a press release.
“The heroes of the Aqabat Jabr camp have fought to the point of martyrdom to defend their land and their holy places”, he added, “the repeated killings committed by the enemy in the West Bank will turn into disaster for them.”
“This is a heinous crime that adds to the daily crimes committed by the occupation against our Palestinian people,” Jericho Governor Jihad Abu told AFP. Al-Aasal: “We call on the world to stop the occupation and protect our people from the occupier”.
This new Israeli military incursion into the Palestinian autonomous area comes amid fears of a new flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the escalation of violence observed since the beginning of the year.
The Israeli authorities regularly accuse the security services of the Palestinian Authority of failing in their obligations in n not stopping armed activists planning anti-Israeli attacks.
Since soon a year, the Israeli army is increasing operations in areas of the West Bank normally under Palestinian security control under the Oslo Accords (1993).