JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces stormed a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Friday to arrest suspected Palestinian insurgents, sparking clashes with local gunmen in which six Palestinians were killed, health authorities said.
Among the dead were a 14-year-old boy and the founder of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, an armed faction of the secular nationalist Fatah party, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Thousands of men took to the streets to participate in the funerals, chanting as they carried the bodies and masked insurgents fired into the air.
Israeli covert forces entered the Faraa camp, near the northern town of Tubas, on Friday morning and set up sniper positions on the buildings, residents said.
Witnesses said soldiers exchanged intermittent gunfire with Palestinian insurgents and against youths who threw stones at armored vehicles and set tires on fire in the streets.
The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the operation, which follows a dramatic increase in its deadly raids and restrictions imposed on Palestinian residents in the West Bank during the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the territory has also reached historic levels, according to the United Nations.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli forces have killed 267 Palestinians in the West Bank since Hamas launched a cross-border attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and about 240 others were taken hostage. . Most of the Palestinians lost their lives in shootings in the West Bank that the army says began during operations to arrest gunmen.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club activist group said Israeli forces raided several towns in the occupied territory early Friday and detained 32 people, two of them in Faraa camp.