Israeli troops have killed at least nine Palestinians in one of the deadliest days in the occupied West Bank since Israeli raids intensified at the start of last year.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said 20 others were wounded with live ammunition in the raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, which Palestinians have described as a “massacre”. Four of them were in critical condition.
The dead included an elderly woman, according to Palestinian officials. She was identified as Magda Obaid by the Jenin hospital authorities.
Israeli forces, who withdrew from Jenin after the killings, said they were looking into reports of the woman’s death.
Meanwhile, Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade – an armed militia affiliated with the Palestinian political party Fatah – said the dead included one of its fighters, Izz al-Din Salahat.
According to the health ministry, another person, Saeb Azriqi, 24, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.
It said the situation on the ground was very difficult, with injured people continuously reaching hospitals, as it accused Israeli forces of obstructing ambulances and medics.
“There is an invasion that is unprecedented … in terms of how large it is and the number of injuries,” Wissam Baker, head of Jenin public hospital, told Al Jazeera.
“The ambulance driver tried to get to one of the martyrs who was on the floor, but the Israeli forces shot directly at the ambulance and prevented them from approaching him,” Baker continued.
[Translation: The [Israeli] occupation forces directly targeted an ambulance in the Jenin refugee camp.]
Israeli forces also fired tear gas canisters towards the hospital, affecting the children’s division, Baker said. It caused suffocation injuries to children and others, he said.
Israel’s army denied deliberately firing tear gas at the hospital. “No one shot tear gas on purpose at a hospital,” an army spokesman said. “But the activity was not far away from the hospital and it is possible some tear gar entered through an open window.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, has announced that the authority would halt the security coordination with Israel in the wake of the West Bank killing.
“As of now it will not be enforced,” he told a press conference in Ramallah, adding that the move was in response to repeated aggressions against Palestinians and violation of the international law by Israel.
“We salute those standing steadfast defending our homeland,” the spokesman said.
He also called for an International Criminal Court Investigation into Thursday’s killings.