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West Bank: Two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli fire in separate incidents

Ahmad Abu Junaid, 21, was shot in a fire exchange while Sanad Mohammad Samasra, 19, was killed after allegedly attempting to stab a settler
Ahmad Abu Junaid, 21, was shot by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on 11 January 2023 (Social media)
Ahmad Abu Junaid, 21, was shot during an Israeli raid on Balata refugee camp on 11 January 2023 (Social media)

Two Palestinians were killed on Wednesday by Israeli fire in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank.

Ahmad Abu Junaid, 21, was shot in the head and critically wounded during a morning raid by the army on Nablus’s Balata refugee camp, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

He was taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead in the afternoon.

The deadliest year for West Bank Palestinians since the Second Intifada in numbers
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Palestinian media said an undercover Israeli army force raided the Balata camp early in the morning. The raid prompted confrontations involving stone throwing and exchanges of gunfire. 

The Nablus-based Lions' Den armed group said in a statement that its fighters were involved in the exchanges during which Abu Junaid was shot. It added that he was a member of the "Balata Brigade" armed group.  

The Israeli army said troops fired at an armed Palestinian who shot at them. No soldiers were wounded.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, a Palestinian man was shot after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli settler in Hebron, according to Israeli medics. He was identified as 19-year-old Sanad Mohammad Samasra. 

Israeli medics said a man was moderately wounded in a stabbing near an illegal settlement outpost in the Hebron area. 

Daily raids

Israeli forces conduct near-nightly search-and-arrest operations in the West Bank, which often turn deadly. According to UN data, 3,437 such raids were conducted last year. 

Most of the raids have focused on Nablus and Jenin in recent months, which are home to a growing number of Palestinian fighters.

In Balata camp, the armed Balata Brigade emerged last year with the proclaimed goal of confronting Israeli forces. 

Abu Junaid and Samasra were the fifth and sixth Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces this year. 

Last year, Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 167 Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in a single calendar year since the Second Intifada

Meanwhile, Palestinians killed at least 29 Israelis, including one child, the highest death toll since 2008.

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