Two Palestinians clash in the West Bank; shooting in Jerusalem

Israeli forces killed two Palestinian teenagers on Saturday in clashes that broke out during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, and two Israelis were seriously injured in a fire attack in Jerusalem, police said.

Israeli police described the shooting in the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem near the West Bank as a “terrorist attack” and said the forces were looking for the suspect who had fled the scene.

Earlier, the Israeli army said security forces in an operation to arrest a gunman wanted by the militant Islamic Jihad group in the flashpoint city of Jenin came under fire from Palestinians.

“Dozens of Palestinians threw explosives and Molotov cocktails at the military and fired at them. The military fired at armed suspects. The shots were identified,” the military said on Twitter.

The Palestinian health ministry said two Palestinians, aged 16 and 18, were killed and 11 injured. Palestinian President Mhamoud Abbas condemned the killings.

The latest near-daily foray into Jenin, a militant stronghold, underscored the unstable security climate in the West Bank as Israel heads for the November 1 elections.

Israel launched its Operation Breakwater against militants on March 31 in response to a series of fatal Palestinian street attacks in Israel.

The wave of violence in the West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-government, was one of the worst in recent years with around 80 Palestinians killed, including militants and civilians.

The United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, said he was alarmed by the violence and called for calm.

US-mediated peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem failed in 2014 and show no signs of recovery.

Israeli security officials have called on the Abbas Palestinian Authority to do more to curb the violence.

The authority, increasingly unpopular in the West Bank, says its ability to exercise its government has clearly been undermined by Israeli incursions.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement that the Israeli government was “disappointed” in thinking such actions would promote peace and stability.

“Our faithful people will remain holy committed to their national rights and principles, defending their land and places at all costs”.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.