GAZA/ WEST BANK: Israeli forces have killed at least five Palestinians during two raids in the occupied West Bank, and another Palestinian in a separate incident in the blockaded Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours in the latest spike of violence on the occupied territories.
The four killed were identified as Mahmoud Saadi, 23; Mahmoud Ararawi, 24; Raafat Khamayseh, 22; and Atta Mousa, 29.
Early Wednesday morning, Israeli forces raided the refugee camp of Aqabat Jabr in Jericho. A statement by the military said that troops opened fire toward a Palestinian who was throwing explosives at them.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the man as 19-year-old Dhargham al-Akhras.
In Gaza, the Palestinian man killed was identified as Yousef Salem Radwan, 25. He was shot by Israeli forces east of Khan Yunis in Gaza, reported Palestinian media.
The Israeli military did not confirm the Gaza killing, but said that “rioters” had gathered next to the fence that separates Gaza from Israel, and that “a number of explosive devices were activated by the rioters”. The military also gave few details about the deaths in the Jenin, apart from saying that it had carried out a drone attack.
The violence came after Israel announced late on Sunday that it would keep the Beit Hanoun (called “Erez” by Israel) crossing closed following an eruption of border protests and a “security assessment” by defence officials.
“The reopening of the crossing will be subject to ongoing evaluation based on the evolving situation in the region,” said COGAT, a unit of the Israeli defence ministry responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.
The closure of Beit Hanoun, the sole pedestrian passageway out of the enclave into Israel, has left roughly 18,000 Palestinians from Gaza who have been issued Israeli work permits unable to access their jobs. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)