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Minggu, 26 September 2021

Israel's PM says at least four Palestinians killed in shootout with Israeli military as tensions spike - ABC News

At least four Palestinians have been killed in shootouts with Israeli security forces during a sweeping West Bank arrest operation cracking down on Islamic militant group Hamas, the Israeli military says.

Both the Israeli military and Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the number of deaths.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a Palestinian was shot dead near the northern West Bank city of Jenin and three others were killed in Biddu, north of Jerusalem.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said 22-year-old Osama Soboh was killed during clashes surrounding an arrest in the village of Burqin, near Jenin.

There were no immediate details on the deaths in Biddu.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that Israeli security forces in the West Bank acted against Hamas operatives "that were about to execute terror attacks in the very immediate future."

He said that the soldiers in the field "acted as expected of them" and said his government gave them full support.

People mill around the scene where three Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
People check the scene where three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during a raid near Biddu in the West Bank.(

Reuters: Mohamad Torokman

)

The Israeli military said that troops involved in arrests in the West Bank came under attack as Palestinian gunmen fired on soldiers. 

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, praised those killed as "heroic martyrs" but did not say whether any were members of the militant group.

It blamed their deaths on the "continuing coordination" between the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government.

The Palestinian Authority, whose security forces coordinate with Israel to suppress Hamas and other militant groups, condemned the killings and said the Israeli government was "fully and directly responsible for this bloody morning and the crimes committed by the occupation forces".

Tensions bubbling since the 11-day conflict in May

Sunday's violence was the deadliest between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the West Bank in recent weeks and came amid heightened tensions following this year's 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Last month, Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen during a late night raid in Jenin, killing four Palestinians. 

Recent months have seen a rise in violence in the West Bank, with more than two dozen Palestinians killed in sporadic clashes with Israeli troops and during protests.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and in the decades since has established dozens of settlements where nearly 500,000 settlers reside. The Palestinians seek the West Bank as part of their future state and view the settlements as a major obstacle to resolving the conflict.

AP/Reuters

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2021-09-26 08:53:06Z
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