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Israeli army confirms killing 15-year-old Palestinian girl in Jenin raid

An Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin results in the death of a Palestinian teenager as operations in the occupied territories escalate
The body of 15-year-old Jana Majdi Zakarneh is carried for burial (Social Media)

The Israeli army has confirmed killing a 15-year-old Palestinian girl during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Sunday night. 

An Israeli statement said soldiers hit the girl unintentionally as they returned fire at armed gunmen on a rooftop. It said it appeared the girl had been on the roof of one of the houses near the gunmen. 

The Palestinian health ministry identified the victim as Jana Majdi Zakarneh, who died after being shot in the head on the roof of her house. According to Palestinian sources, her body was found after Israeli forces withdrew. 

Three others were wounded during armed clashes with Palestinian fighters that erupted in the flashpoint city of Jenin.

According to Palestinian media outlets, an undercover Israeli military unit entered Jenin, and in response, Palestinian fighters attempted to repel the Israeli forces resulting in a shoot-out.

In a series of tweets, the Israeli army confirmed the raid and that three arrests were made. 

Palestinian factions in Jenin announced that there would be a general strike in the refugee camp to mark Zakaran's death.

During the raid, Israeli forces stormed several houses, damaged a number of vehicles and snipers climbed the roofs of buildings.

Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO executive committee, said that Zakarneh was "a victim of the occupation's brutality in Jenin." 

"Her blood exposes this continuous criminal behaviour that violates everything and reveals the truth about the brutal racist behaviour of the occupation forces," added Sheikh. 

Deadliest year on record

On Thursday last week, four Palestinians were killed by Israeli military gunfire in Jenin, including a 17-year-old teenager. The Israeli military said its forces were conducting an operation to arrest 15 wanted men in Jenin when armed Palestinians began to fire at them.

Following the latest deaths, the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of this year has risen to 218, including 52 in the Gaza Strip and 166 in the West Bank, making it one of the deadliest years on record for Palestinians since 2005.

Israeli authorities have recently been conducting raid-and-arrest operations across the West Bank on a near-nightly basis, often leading to the wounding or killing of Palestinians. 

The operations have resulted in more 2,500 arrests, according to Israeli authorities. 

Many of the deadly clashes have occurred in the Jenin and Nablus area, where Israeli forces have repeatedly conducted operations.

Thursday's deaths come amid a spike in Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank this year and a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance.  

Israel's "shoot-to-kill policy" has been widely criticised as the number of Palestinian deaths at the hands of its forces increases.

A further 49 Palestinians were killed during an Israeli bombardment of Gaza in August.

Meanwhile, 29 Israelis, including soldiers, have been killed by Palestinians in the same period, the highest number since 2008.

* This story was corrected on Tuesday 13 December to state that Jana Majdi Zakarneh was 15 years old at the time she was shot.

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