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Palestinian children injured as Israeli troops storm West Bank school, fire tear gas

Israeli forces stand guard near the settlement of Ofra on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on October 4, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Many Palestinian children suffered injuries and breathing difficulties after Israeli troops stormed an elementary school in southern West Bank and fired tear gas, amid heightened tensions in the occupied territories over relentless Israeli military aggression.

The Palestinian official news agency Wafa, citing Qussai Ja’bari, Principal of al-Khalil Elementary School, reported that dozens of Israeli regime soldiers stormed the educational center, which is situated near the Ibrahimi Mosque, on Wednesday morning.

The troops then lobbed several teargas canisters and chased children as they were leaving the school for home.

Ja’bari added that many children suffered teargas inhalation, while others fell and suffered cuts and bruises while running away for the fear of getting hurt.

The development comes less than a week after Israeli forces raided another elementary school in the same occupied West Bank city, and launched an unprovoked attack on teachers and students there.

Director General of Education Department in al-Khalil, Atef al-Jamal said that Israeli troops stormed al-Hajriya Elementary School on September 29 and broke into classrooms, causing panic and fear among students.

He added that the forces beat teachers and students, and sprayed their faces with pepper as they pushed back the Israeli soldiers.

A teacher, identified as Ihab al-Rajbi, sustained bruises to his hand. The soldiers also detained and interrogated two schoolchildren after dragging them out of their classrooms. They were released later.

The incident came on the same day that a Palestinian boy died of heart failure while being chased by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

Seven-year-old Rayyan Suleiman was coming home from school with other pupils in the village of Tuqu when troops gave chase, and he “died on the spot from fear,” his father Yasser said in a video circulated on social media.

A medical official who inspected the body said that it bore no sign of physical trauma and that the death appeared consistent with heart failure.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident as “an ugly crime” by the Israeli regime.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Israeli-occupied territories since the start of the year, including 51 in the besieged Gaza Strip during Israel’s three-day onslaught in August.

More than 30 of those killed were either from Jenin or were killed in the Jenin region.

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