RAMALLAH (West Bank) – Israeli troops killed two Palestinians during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, according to Palestinian health officials, the latest occurrence in recent months around the flashpoint city of Jenin.
According to the Israeli military, security officers on an operation to apprehend a wanted shooter from the Islamic Jihad extremist group came under Palestinian fire.
“Dozens of Palestinians fired at the soldiers and threw bombs and Molotov cocktails at them.” The police opened fire on armed suspects. “Hits have been identified,” the military announced on Twitter.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, two Palestinians were killed and 11 were injured. The Palestinian Authority made no immediate comment (PA).
The latest in a near-daily string of incidents in Jenin, a militant bastion, highlighted the precarious security atmosphere in the West Bank as Israel prepares for elections on November 1.
“The more the occupation commits atrocities, the more ferocious the resistance,” Islamic Jihad declared in a statement.
Since Israel started Operation Breakwater against militants on March 31 in response to a succession of deadly Palestinian street attacks in Israel, more than 70 Palestinians have been murdered in the West Bank. The death toll includes both militants and civilians.
The recent uptick in violence in the West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule, has been one of the worst in years.
Peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem broke down in 2014 and show no signs of resumption.
Israeli security officials have urged the PA to do more to prevent gunmen from committing violence.
However, the PA, which is increasingly unpopular in the West Bank, claims that Israel’s incursions have systematically weakened its ability to rule.