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Ekeomah Atuonwu

Israeli soldiers have killed five Palestinians in the illegally occupied West Bank, including a 14-year-old boy, as part of ongoing raids by Israel’s armed forces in response to a series of deadly attacks inside Israel.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid early Thursday, while three others were killed on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli military confirmed the 14-year-old’s death, saying he had thrown a petrol bomb at the soldiers, who “used live ammunition to stop the immediate threat.”

Another Palestinian was killed in clashes near Ramallah on Wednesday, according to the Palestinian health ministry, following an arrest raid by Israeli forces. The Israeli military and police made no immediate comment.

Hundreds of Palestinians were seen throwing rocks at Israeli armored vehicles, and gunfire could be heard on occasion.

An Israeli soldier guards an opening in Israel’s West Bank separation barrier that was reinforced with barbed wire to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel, in the West Bank village of Nilin, west of Ramallah, April 10, 2022 /AP/

According to the Shin Bet domestic security service, three Palestinians planning an imminent attack on Israelis were apprehended during the raid. According to military and police statements, approximately 20 people described as “terror” suspects were apprehended during Wednesday’s operations.

Earlier on Wednesday, a 34-year-old Palestinian lawyer named Muhammad Hassan Muhammad Assaf was reportedly shot by the military. According to the health ministry, Assaf worked for a Palestinian Liberation Organization department that documents and advocates against Israeli settlement activity on Palestinian land. According to the ministry, he was shot in the chest in Nablus.

Israel has increased raids and arrests across the West Bank following four attacks in Israel in the last three weeks that killed 14 people, including a shooting last week in Tel Aviv’s center.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, 36 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since January. This figure includes Palestinians who carried out terrorist attacks in Israel.

Palestinian security officers carry the body of Muhammad Assaf, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Kufr Laqef, near Qalqiliya, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Israeli forces shot and killed Assaf, 34, during clashes on Wednesday /AP/

The Palestinian foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Israel was “fully responsible for the consequences” of the military’s actions, and a spokesperson for President Mahmoud Abbas urged the international community to intervene. 

The latest bloodshed coincided with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Israeli-Palestinian violence has previously erupted, culminating in an 11-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip last May.

The war resulted in the deaths of at least 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis, as well as significant devastation to the already impoverished territory.

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Ekeomah Atuonwu

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