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Israel-Palestine war: Palestinians killed by Israeli drone during raid in occupied West Bank

At least seven Palestinians were killed in Nur Shams with the number expected to rise, while a number of Israeli soldiers were wounded
An Israeli military vehicle is stationed near the West Bank city of Tulkarm where two Palestinians were reportedly killed during clashes with Israeli forces on October 5, 2023 (AFP)

Israeli soldiers have killed at least seven Palestinians in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem with some putting the number as high as 11.

Video published by the Israeli army on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday showed a drone hovering above a group of men and then firing on them at the entrance of the camp mosque.

Israeli forces had besieged the town at dawn and were bulldozing infrastructure in the camp leading to armed clashes.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that at least 25 people were wounded in the Nur Shams refugee camp, adding that at least 17 people were injured from live fire. 

Journalist Sami Al-Saei from Tulkarm, who was present at the scene, told Middle East Eye that a large number of forces from the Israeli army stormed Nur Shams camp and Palestinian gunmen responded with gunfire, resulting in an outbreak of armed clashes.

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The attack included raiding a large number of homes, smashing windows and doors, assaulting residents, and arresting some of them and using them as human shields in the face of clashes with the resistance fighters, Al-Saei said.

He added that sniper units were also deployed on buildings and were firing at Palestinians trying to confront the Israeli incursion.

"So far, the soldiers have killed 11 Palestinians and injured more than 25, including children, many of them seriously, after a drone bombed the entrance to the camp mosque, and until this moment the bodies are still in the mosque due to the difficulty of transporting them to hospital," he added.

Bayan Jamal, a resident of the camp, told MEE that the Israeli incursion is the most violent and largest since 2021, as soldiers stormed dozens of homes after vandalising the streets to prevent anyone from moving.

"More than 30 soldiers stormed my husband's family house. [He] has been detained in Israeli prisons for months. They arrested two of his brothers, beat them severely and abused them, then threw them near the entrance of the house, resulting in fractures and bruises," said Jamal.

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Hours later, the soldiers stormed her father-in-law's house again, climbed onto his roof, informed the family that the home had been turned into a military barracks and deployed snipers on its roof, preventing anyone from moving freely inside.

The Palestinian health ministry said they expect the death toll from "occupation aggression" in Nur Shams camp to rise, adding that some ambulances were not able to transport bodies at the time.

Israeli forces said that "10 border police officers were injured, one of them seriously, during an armed clash in the Nour Shams camp", while the rest sustained minor injuries. 

Israeli security forces also arrested at least 10 Palestinians, without stating what they were being arrested for. 

Rising tensions in the West Bank

While attention has largely been focused on the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, tensions in the occupied West Bank have escalated considerably over the last two weeks.

On 7 October, Palestinian fighters attacked southern Israel near the Gaza Strip. Around 1,400 Israelis were killed.

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Relentless Israeli air strikes, meanwhile, have killed more than 3,800 Palestinians, including more than 1,500 children and 1,000 women. Around one million Palestinians have also been displaced and forced to take shelter in hospitals and schools as Israel tightens its siege of the enclave.

Meanwhile, Israel has placed the occupied West Bank under lockdown, closing checkpoints, fortifying the entrances to towns and villages, and imposing strict restrictions on travel in and out of the border with Jordan.

In the last 12 days, at least 71 Palestinians - several of them children - have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank. 

On Wednesday, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old were fatally shot near Ramallah during protests against a reported Israeli strike on a Gaza hospital that is estimated to have killed 500 people.

Though Palestinians are more restricted in the West Bank than ever, Israeli settlers can attack at will. Homes, businesses and people have fallen victim to settler attacks.

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