Six Palestinians, Israeli police officer killed in West Bank clashes

January 8, 2024 7:29 am

[Source: Reuters]

Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, and an Israeli police officer was killed, Israeli officials said.

Israel said its aircraft fired on Palestinian militants who had attacked troops in the city of Jenin. The Palestinian ministry said the strike targeted people who had gathered at the site. Eyewitnesses said the attack happened as Israeli forces were withdrawing.

Four of those killed were brothers, according to family members.

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Mujahid Nazzal, a Palestinian doctor and first responder at the scene, told Reuters one of the dead was hit directly by a missile and the strike also seriously wounded a seventh person.

Another witness, Ahmed Suleiman, said, “The air strike happened at the entrance of Jenin in an area called Martyr’s Triangle. You can see the effects of the missile. Blood and body parts scattered everywhere.”

An Israeli border police officer was killed and others wounded when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device during operations in Jenin, the Israeli military and police said.

A helicopter helped rescue them with covering fire, the military said, adding that an aircraft fired at a “terrorist squad that hurled explosives and endangered our forces, a number of terrorists were killed”.

The Jenin Brigade, an armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack on the Israeli security forces.

The West Bank had already seen its highest levels of unrest in decades during the 18 months before the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by the militant Hamas group that rules Gaza.

Confrontations in the West Bank have risen sharply since Israeli forces launched their retaliatory offensive on Gaza, seeking to wipe out Hamas.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers over the past weeks and security forces have made thousands of arrests.