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Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in latest Jenin raid

Israel has killed 83 Palestinians so far this year as it ramped up raids on the occupied West Bank.

At least four Palestinians, including a teenager, have been killed in an Israeli army raid on the occupied West Bank town of Jenin, Palestinian officials say.

Thursday’s raid — the last since Israel stepped up such operations in the West Bank last year — was carried out by undercover Israeli forces “breaking into the center of Jenin,” the Palestinian state news agency Wafa quoted the Health Ministry as saying.

The ministry identified three of the dead as Youssef Shreem, 29; Nidal Khazim, 28; and Omar Awadin, 16. The identity of the fourth person was not immediately known.

The Israeli army said its security forces were operating “in the Jenin refugee camp”.

Jenin is one of several areas in the northern West Bank where Israel has intensified its incursions over the past year in an effort to crush growing armed Palestinian resistance.

An amateur video taken by people in Jenin appeared to show a mob of Palestinians surrounding a car people believed was carrying Israeli troops undercover. Another clip appeared to show Israeli military vehicles towing the car.

The raid came a day after the Palestinian Authority said it would participate in a March 19 security meeting with Israel in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt’s Red Sea resort. Representatives from Egypt, Jordan and the United States will also be present at the meeting. .

Political analyst Nour Odeh said Palestinian leaders should not attend the meeting because Palestinian public opinion is “utterly opposed”.

“Palestinian leadership must turn inward, represent the will of its people and work to bridge the Palestinian divide rather than collaborating with an Israeli government,” Odeh told Ramallah-based Al Jazeera.

Odeh said the Israeli government does not recognize the Palestinian people.

“The agenda of this (Israeli) government is to be bolder against the Palestinian people, to completely decimate their agenda for statehood and freedom and to prevent that through mass ethnic cleansing, through expropriation, the demolition of homes, the banning of Palestinian construction in the West Bank. ”

Thursday’s deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the year to 83 as Israel ramped up arrest raids in response to a series of attacks last spring.

Palestinian attacks on Israelis have killed 14 people in 2023.

Last week, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in a raid in Jenin, less than 48 hours after six others were killed in another raid in the city. In January, Israeli soldiers killed nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, in a large-scale attack on the Jenin refugee camp.

Israeli raids in 2022 killed more than 170 Palestinians, many of them civilians.