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Palestinians say Israeli forces have killed four in a raid on the West Bank

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JERUSALEM – Israeli forces killed at least four Palestinians, including a 60-year-old woman, and wounded several others during a raid in a flashpoint zone of the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said.

The violence took place in what Palestinian health officials described as a fierce operation in the Jenin refugee camp, a militant stronghold in the West Bank that has been the focus of nearly a year of Israeli arrest raids.

The Israeli military said troops were operating in the area, but did not immediately provide other details. Israeli media reported that troops came under fire during the raid.

Palestinian Health Minister May Al-Kaila said paramedics struggled to reach the wounded during the fighting. She also accused the military of firing tear gas into a hospital’s children’s ward, causing children to suffocate. The military had no immediate comment.

Jenin’s hospital identified the murdered woman as Magda Obaid. The Palestinian Health Ministry previously identified another dead person as Saeb Azriqi, 24, who was taken to a hospital in critical condition after being shot and died of his wounds.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have soared since Israel launched the raids last spring, following a spate of Palestinian attacks that left 19 people dead, while another round of attacks later in the year brought the death toll to 30.

Thursday’s violence brings the number of Palestinians killed this year to 24. Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed last year, making 2022 the deadliest since 2004, according to the Israeli rights organization B’Tselem.

Israel says most of the dead were militants. But young people who protested against the raids and others not involved in the confrontations were also killed.

Israel says the raids are designed to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians say they further entrench Israel’s 55-year, unrestricted occupation of land they seek for their future state.

Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East War, areas the Palestinians claim for their hopeful state.

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