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Israeli Army Kills Palestinians In Latest West Bank Raid -By ASC

The Israeli military said 12 people had been arrested in overnight raids in several West Bank locations.

Jenin, Palestine:

The Israeli army killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday, in what the military called its latest “fight against terrorism” raid following a series of attacks in Israel since late March.

The military said during operations at the Jenin refugee camp, the military used “live ammunition” after being targeted with gunfire and explosives by Palestinian “rioters”.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed as Ahmad Massad, 18, from the village of Burqin in the north of the occupied West Bank. He was shot in the head, a hospital official told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The military said 12 people had been arrested in overnight raids at several West Bank locations. The Palestinian Prisoners Club group put a total of 17 arrests.

More than a thousand people gathered for Massad’s funeral in Burqin, and masked gunmen fired shots into the air as his body was brought from his family home.

A band with the logo of the Palestinian armed movement Islamic Jihad was wrapped around his forehead.

Israeli security forces have stepped up operations in recent weeks in the West Bank – particularly around Jenin, where there are active fighters from several Palestinian armed groups.

Raad Hazem-who killed three Israelis in a shooting incident in Tel Aviv’s nightlife district earlier this month, before being shot dead after a massive manhunt-hails from the Jenin refugee camp.

– Gunman’s house targeted –

During the overnight operation, the military said it also served demolition notices to Hazem’s family home.

The destruction of attackers ’homes is a common Israeli practice, and has been condemned by critics as a form of illegal collective punishment.

The father of the Tel Aviv shooter, Fathi Hazem and Hamam’s brother, are both wanted by Israel.

Hours after the demolition notice was handed over, his father appeared in a video that later spread widely in the Palestinian media.

He accused Israel of labeling all Palestinian youths as “terrorists” and told the public, speaking in unknown locations, that “we will defeat them, God willing, and soon”.

Hamam Hazem told AFP earlier this month that the family had no prior knowledge of the Raad’s plans for the Tel Aviv attack.

Fighting between Israeli and Palestinian troops is common in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

Violence has escalated in the region and in Israel, during the holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover celebration overlapping this month.

The escalating violence since March 22 has killed 12 Israelis, including an Arab-Israeli police officer, and two Ukrainians in four separate attacks inside Israel.

A total of 26 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs were killed in the same period, among them the perpetrators of the attack and those killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank operation.

Massad’s death follows the death of another Palestinian who was killed Tuesday, when Israeli troops stormed a West Bank refugee camp near Jericho.

– ‘Increase resistance’ –

Violent fighting has also rocked the grounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Israeli-controlled east Jerusalem, sparking fears of another conflict after an 11-day war last year between Israel and armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

Following the Al-Aqsa fighting, isolated rocket fire at Israel from the Gaza Strip continued, prompting an Israeli retaliation against targets linked to Hamas, the Islamic group that controls the coastal area.

Palestinians have been furious with the increase in Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa compound, Islam’s third holiest site. It is also the holiest place of Judaism and is known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Jordanian King Abdullah II said during a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday in Amman that blocking the access of Muslim pilgrims in Jerusalem was “unacceptable.”

In a real effort to ease tensions, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that Israel is committed to the “status quo” at Al-Aqsa, meaning adherence to an old convention of allowing Jews to visit the compound but not pray there.

However, concerns about Al-Aqsa’s new fighting are growing, ahead of Friday prayers in the compound, with the end of Ramadan approaching in early May.

The Palestinian armed movement Islamic Jihad in a statement on Wednesday called on followers “to increase resistance in all its forms”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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