Nine Palestinians were killed and 15 seriously injured on Thursday in the northern occupied West Bank during an Israeli raid during which tear gas was fired into the pediatric unit of a hospital, according to Palestinian sources.
“The situation in Jenin (Palestinian refugee) camp is critical,” Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a statement.
A total of nine people including “an elderly woman” were killed during the raid and 16 others injured, four of whom are in serious condition, she added.
Israeli forces “deliberately fired tear gas canisters” into the pediatric ward of a hospital in Jenin, “causing the asphyxiation of some children,” the Palestinian minister said.
Asked by AFP about this statement, the Israeli army did not comment immediately. “Security forces are carrying out an operation in the Jenin refugee camp. Details will be provided later,” she said on Telegram.
According to the Red Cross, the evacuation of the many injured is difficult, said Minister Mai al-Kaila.
The latter asked for the organization of an “urgent meeting” with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO). Asked by AFP, these organizations did not comment.
– “Massacre” –
“The Israeli army is destroying everything and shooting at everything that moves,” Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu al-Roub told AFP, adding that residents were “living in a state of war”.
“What is happening in Jenin and its camp is a massacre perpetrated by the Israeli occupation government,” said Nabil Abu Roudeina, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Thursday’s deaths bring to 29 the number of Palestinians, civilians or members of armed groups, killed since the beginning of the year in violence with Israeli forces or civilians.
On Wednesday, two young Palestinians, including a teenager, were shot dead by agents of the Israeli security forces, according to the Palestinian Authority. One was killed after trying to stab a soldier and the other during clashes with police, according to Israel.
The Israeli army, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, carries out almost daily raids through this Palestinian territory, particularly in the north in the areas of Jenin and Nablus, strongholds of armed Palestinian factions.
According to an AFP count, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has killed more than 200 Palestinians and claimed the lives of at least 26 Israelis in 2022.