Palestine: West Bank announces strike after Israeli raids
Palestinians have launched a general strike in the occupied West Bank cities of Jenin, Hebron and other towns in protest at the Israeli military raid on Jenin that left four Palestinians dead on Wednesday.
Wafa news agency reported that on Thursday, dozens of shops in Jenin city and nearby villages had closed after a day of mourning, during which thousands of Palestinians buried the four victims.
'As we have said for some time, we call on the parties themselves to contain the violence'
- Ned Price, US State Department
On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed Abdulrahman Khazem and Muhammad Abu Naasa from the refugee camp, Muhammad Brahma from Anza village, and Ahmad Alawneh from Jenin. Khazem was the brother of Raad Khazem, named by Israel as the killer of three Israelis in a Tel Aviv shooting spree on 7 April. Another 44 people were wounded in the Jenin raid.
Several schools and universities announced a day of mourning in Jenin and closed their doors on Thursday. On Wednesday, a day of mourning had been announced in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem.
On Thursday morning, three Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces stormed the occupied southern West Bank town of Dura.
The US State Department said it was deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation in the West Bank. Ned Price, the department's spokesperson, said on Wednesday: "We call on all parties to do everything in their power to de-escalate the situation and return to a period of calm. This is in the interest of all Israelis and Palestinians. As we have said for some time, we call on the parties themselves to contain the violence.
"The United States and other international partners stand ready to help, but we cannot substitute for vital actions by the parties to mitigate conflict and to restore calm," Price added.
Palestine's foreign affairs ministry condemned the recent attacks, describing them as "an official Israeli policy that pushes the arena of conflict into the squares of violence, tension and escalation".