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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in raid on West Bank refugee camp

Deceased Palestinians Muhammad Ribhi Nujoom al-Omar (L) and Qusay Omar al-Walaji

At least two young Palestinians have been killed and several others injured after Israeli military forces stormed a refugee camp in the eastern flank of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian media reported.

Palestinian Shehab news agency, citing local sources, reported that a large number of Israeli troops, onboard dozens of military vehicles, stormed Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, located three kilometers southwest of Ariha, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The raids resulted in armed clashes with resistance fighters there, the report said.

It added that the Israeli soldiers broke into several houses in the camp, violently searched the buildings and ransacked all properties before leaving.

The raid lasted for less than an hour. Israeli troops took a number of Palestinian men away to an unknown location, according to the residents.

The Ariha Hospital’s director told Reuters the two young men were rushed to the hospital with bullets in their chests.

Palestinian officials later identified the two young men as 16-year-old Qusay Omar al-Walaji from the city of Ariha, and Muhammad Ribhi Nujoom al-Omar, 25. He was a resident of the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp.

Dozens of young Palestinian men gathered in the hospital as soon the news of the young Palestinians’ death broke.

They chanted anti-Israel slogans in an expression of outrage and called for determined resistance in the face of the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation.

Israeli forces launch raids on various cities of the West Bank almost on a daily basis under the pretext of detaining what it calls “wanted” Palestinians. The raids usually lead to violent confrontations with residents.

Over the past months, Israel has ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities throughout the occupied territories. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in the occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza. The majority of these fatalities have been recorded in the West Bank

At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian retaliatory attacks against Israeli settlers during that time.

Those figures indicate that 2023 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began keeping track of fatalities in 2005.

Previously, 2022 had been the deadliest year with 150 Palestinians killed, of whom 33 were minors, according to the United Nations.

The rising number of fatalities last year prompted UN experts to condemn the treatment of Palestinians, including attacks on their homes and destruction of their property.

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