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Israel-Palestine war: Drone strike kills four men during raid on Jenin

Israeli forces prevent medical teams in the West Bank city from reaching the dead and wounded
Palestinians look at a blood stain at the site of the Israeli drone strike in Jenin, 12 December (AP)
Palestinians look at a blood stain at the site of the Israeli drone strike in Jenin on 12 December 2023 (AP)
By Mohammed Atiq in Jenin, occupied Palestine

An Israeli drone attack on Jenin on Tuesday morning killed four Palestinians and wounded at least five others during a raid on the city in the northern occupied West Bank, the local health ministry said.

Dozens of Israeli military vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, stormed Jenin at dawn, sparking a firefight with Palestinian fighters.

Israeli forces tore up the streets and destroyed many buildings, smashing through the fronts of shops, Arab48 reported.

Yacoub Abdullah, a resident of Jenin's Sibat neighbourhood, told Middle East Eye that he was sitting with his friends near the main street when they heard the sound of a huge explosion.

An Israeli drone had fired on a group of young men on a street in the neighbourhood, which lies in Jenin's old city.

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"The sound shook the entire city. We ran to the site of the explosion to find all the young men on the ground bleeding. Three of them were dead and the others were seriously injured," Abdullah said.

Israel said it targeted people affiliated with armed groups. Witnesses said the men were not armed. Wissam Abu Bakr, director of Jenin Hospital, named the dead as Rafiq al-Dabbous, Mahmoud Abu Srour, Bakr Siddiq Zakarneh and Thaer Abu al-Tin.

One of those killed is reportedly the brother of two men recently killed by Israel.

Hazem Masarwa, an ambulance driver, told MEE that paramedics hurried to the scene after receiving news that there had been a drone strike on Sibat.

He said the Israeli army stopped the ambulance and searched it before allowing them to continue, causing a delay of more than 10 minutes.

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"When we arrived at the place, we found four very seriously injured people, some of whom had died from their wounds," he said.

The dead were taken to Jenin Hospital, while the wounded were hurried to Qabatiya Hospital to the south, Masarwa added.

Violence in the occupied West Bank has escalated since 7 October, when a Hamas-led attack from the Gaza Strip targeted Israel, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 Israelis.

Since then, 279 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank. Israel, meanwhile, has waged war on Gaza, killing at least 18,000 Palestinians.

Also on Tuesday, Israel carried out raids elsewhere in the West Bank. In Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, Israeli troops arrested 15 people, and several others were detained during a raid on homes in the town of Samu.

Raids were also reported in Bethlehem and Deir Ballut, south of Qalqilya.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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