West Bank: 11 dead and more than 80 injured in an Israeli raid in Nablus
A Palestinian in front of an Israeli army vehicle in Nablus, West Bank
Eleven Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed on Wednesday and more than 80 were shot and wounded in an Israeli military raid in Nablus, the scene of recurrent and deadly clashes in northern West Bank.
In New York, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed alarm that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory was the most inflammable since years.
The European Union expressed deep concern. It is of the utmost importance that all parties work towards a return to calm and a de-escalation of tensions, said EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell. /p>
The United States has expressed grave concern over the violence in the West Bank.
Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 60 Palestinians (including members of armed groups and civilians, including minors), nine civilians (including three minors), as well as #x27;to an Israeli policeman and a Ukrainian woman, according to an AFP tally compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources.
Our immediate priority must be to x27; to prevent further escalation, reduce tensions and restore calm, Mr. Guterres pleaded.
While the Israeli police have indicated that they are raising their level of alert, particularly in Jerusalem, Ziyad Al-Nakhala, the secretary general of the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad, denounced a major crime to which the resistance forces have a duty to respond. without hesitation.
Wednesday's incursion into Nablus is the deadliest operation carried out by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank since at least 2005.< /p>
A packed crowd, including armed men, took part in the funerals of nine of the dead in the center of the city. A tenth dead was buried in the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Balata.
Besides a teenager, the men who were shot were between 23 and 72 years old. An 11th man, aged 66, died in the evening from tear gas inhalation, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The Israeli army said it conducted a counterterrorism operation in the Palestinian Autonomous Area during which three suspects wanted and involved in armed attacks [in the West Bank] and planning attacks for the immediate future [were] neutralized.
Israeli forces surrounded a building before exchanging fire with the armed suspects barricaded there, the army said, which was confirmed by witnesses to AFP.
We then intensified our efforts and rockets were fired at the house, said an Israeli military spokesman, Richard Hecht.
During the operation, which lasted almost four hours, rocks and explosive devices were fired at the soldiers, the army added, adding that no #x27;among them had not been injured.
At least 82 people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, some of them in serious condition, the Palestinian ministry said .
Islamic Jihad said one of the local commanders of its military wing was among the dead.
According to the armed group Areen al-Oussoud (The Lair of the lions), based in Nablus, six fighters from different Palestinian factions are among the dead.
Palestine TV journalist, Mohammed Al-Khatib, was injured during the incursion, a reporter from this public television channel told AFP.
Moustapha Shahine, a resident, heard explosions and gunshots in the morning. A large number of soldiers stormed the center of Nablus, he told AFP.
Israeli forces have been multiplying for nearly x27;one year what they present as counter-terrorist operations in search of suspects in the northern West Bank, particularly in Nablus and Jenin, strongholds of Palestinian armed groups.
Let every terrorist know that we will achieve it, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Twitter, hailing the courage of the Israeli forces in Nablus.
On On Twitter, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh denounced a premeditated and barbaric criminal act and called on the international community to intervene immediately.
The Arab League condemned a crime horrible while Jordanian diplomacy has called for calm, saying it is working intensely with all parties to achieve this.