Thursday, December 1, 2022

Palestinian doctor among two martyred in Israeli army West Bank raid

Palestinian doctor among two martyred in Israeli army West Bank raid

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Two Palestinians including a doctor were martyred Friday in an Israeli raid in the flashpoint city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Dr Abdullah al-Ahmad "succumbed to a bullet wound that pierced his head, fired by the occupation (Israeli) soldiers", the ministry said in a statement.

A ministry spokesman told AFP that another Palestinian, Mateen Debaya, was also killed in the raid on the city's refugee camp, with five others wounded.

Militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, named Debaya as a "fighter".

The ministry said Ahmad was shot outside a government hospital, located on the edge of the camp.

An AFP journalist said the doctor underwent emergency surgery at the facility following the shooting.

The armed wing of the mainstream Fatah movement described Ahmad as "its commander" who had died after an "armed clash" with Israeli forces.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa, meanwhile, said Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh was mourning the doctor "shot dead by Israeli forces while he was trying to rescue casualties".

Crowds of mourners gathered for the separate funerals of the two men, whose bodies were carried through the streets.

The Israeli military did not comment on those killed.

In a statement, the army said "explosive devices and a massive number of shots were fired from armed suspects at the security forces".

"The forces responded with aimed live fire towards the armed suspects. Hits were identified," the army said.

Three suspects were detained including an alleged Hamas member who the army said was suspected of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces.

Hamas on Friday called on "our resistance... to continue their steadfastness and their heroism with all means".

Israel has occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Hunt for gunmen 

Dozens of Palestinians have been shot dead in recent months during near daily Israeli raids across the West Bank. Those killed include fighters as well as civilians, such as Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot in May while covering an army raid in Jenin.

Two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead last Saturday during a raid in Jenin, while a 12-year-old boy died Monday from wounds sustained last month, according to a health ministry toll.

The expansion of military operations in Jenin and elsewhere in the West Bank followed deadly attacks on Israelis earlier this year. Israeli forces are currently hunting for attackers who shot dead two soldiers in separate incidents over the past week.

One soldier was killed Tuesday near Nablus, south of Jenin, while on Saturday another was shot at a checkpoint in annexed east Jerusalem. The hunt for the Jerusalem gunman has prompted a massive operation inside the city's Shuafat refugee camp, severely impeding daily life.

Palestinians went on a day-long general strike earlier this week in the city, in solidarity with Shuafat residents. There have also been clashes involving Palestinians, Israeli forces and citizens across east Jerusalem.

Washington said Wednesday there had been an "alarming increase in Palestinian and Israeli deaths and injuries, including numerous children". State Department spokesman Ned Price called on both the sides to "take urgent action to prevent even greater loss of life".