Israel Palestine Conflict

Israel troops kill Palestinian, 19, in West Bank raid: Health ministry

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Israeli troops killed a 19-year-old Palestinian in a pre-dawn raid in the West Bank Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said, as violence in the occupied territory showed no sign of any letup.

The ministry said Durgham al-Akhras was killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers raiding Aqabat Jaber refugee camp near the city of Jericho to carry out arrests.

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Akhras was “killed when he was shot in the head by the occupation (Israeli) army during its aggression against the Aqabat Jaber camp in Jericho,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment.

Separately, the ministry announced the death of Yasser Mussa, 29, who was wounded during an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank late on Tuesday.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and its troops routinely carry out incursions into areas such as Jenin, which are nominally under the Palestinian Authority’s security control.

Violence linked to the Israel-Palestinian conflict has surged since early last year, particularly in the West Bank.

At least 238 Palestinians have been killed so far this year in incidents linked to the conflict.

The bloodshed has also seen 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources on both sides.

They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, mainly civilians and three members of the Arab minority.

In recent days, violence has also risen in the Gaza Strip, with Palestinians in the coastal enclave holding protests along the Israeli border fence that have turned violent.

Palestinians have thrown rocks and explosives towards Israeli troops guarding the border, who have responded with tear gas and gunfire.

On Tuesday, one protester was killed by “occupation bullets,” said the health ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.

The Israeli army said it had used “riot dispersal means and sniper fire.”

The violence in Gaza follows an Israeli announcement late on Sunday that it would keep the Erez border crossing closed. The crossing remained shut on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said.

Thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza have been prevented from entering Israel by the closure, which an Israeli NGO, Gisha, condemned as “collective punishment.”

Israel has issued work permits to some 18,500 Gazans, COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said on Tuesday.

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