14 Palestinians killed in ongoing Israeli operation in West Bank

Ramallah: At least 14 Palestinians have been killed during an ongoing Israeli military operation for the third consecutive day in the city of Tulkarm and the refugee camp in the northern West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The Ministry said on Saturday in a press statement sent to Xinhua news agency that the bodies of the 14 Palestinian killed were transferred to Tulkarm Hospital from the Nour Shams Palestinian refugee camp east of the city.

The statement didn’t provide further details, Xinhua news agency reported.

Palestinian security sources said that Israeli forces, accompanied by military bulldozers, entered the camp on Thursday, imposing a stringent siege and demolishing main streets, infrastructure, residential homes, and shops.

The sources noted that the ongoing military operation, coinciding with power outages, water cuts, and the disruption of communication and internet networks in the camp, was the most severe in years.

Sniper units were deployed on the roofs of high-rise buildings while other forces detonated several houses with guided missiles.

Local sources and eyewitnesses reported clashes between the army and Palestinian gunmen, along with the sound of explosions caused by homemade explosive devices.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), announced in separate statements that their elements had engaged in fierce clashes with Israeli forces in the camp.

The Israeli public radio reported that the army, internal security agency Shin Bet, and the Israeli police killed a number of Palestinian militants in clashes during a wide-scale military operation in the refugee camp.

According to the radio, among those killed were Mohammed Jaber, also known as Abu Shuja, the commander of the Tulkarm Battalion of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and another activist named Ahmed Al-Aarif.

The radio cited a military spokesman saying that during the ongoing operation, eight wanted persons were arrested, explosive devices and tunnels were seized, and workshops involved in manufacturing explosive devices within the camp were dismantled.

The West Bank has been witnessing escalating tension marked by armed confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinians in cities, villages, and camps since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip on October 7 last year.

Earlier on Saturday, a Palestinian ambulance driver was killed by Israeli gunfire in the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Israel has killed more than 460 Palestinians with airstrikes and gunfire in various parts of the West Bank and east of Jerusalem since the outbreak of the conflict, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

IANS

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