5/5 © Reuters. Palestinians check a damaged house after an Israeli raid in Tulkarm in the Israeli-occupied West Bank September 24, 2023. REUTERS/Ali Sawafta 2/5

By Ali Sawafta

TULKARM, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including a fighter from the Islamist group Hamas, in a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, rescue workers and Hamas said.

Israeli forces raided the Nur Shams camp near the town of Tulkarm in the early hours of Sunday morning, sparking an hours-long firefight with Palestinian fighters, witnesses said.

The Israeli military said it conducted “anti-terrorism activities” at the camp, dismantling an operational command center equipped with computers and surveillance cameras and discovering dozens of explosive devices and bomb-making components.

“During the activity, suspects opened fire and hurled explosive devices at the forces, who responded with live ammunition. Hits were detected,” the military said in a statement, adding that an Israeli soldier was moderately injured.

Hamas, which has expanded its reach from its base in Gaza to the West Bank, said one of the men, 21-year-old Osaid Abu Ali, was a member of its armed wing.

The family of the other man, 32-year-old Abdel-Rahman Abu Daghash, said he had stepped onto the terrace of his home to watch what was happening when he was killed by a sniper.

“He went up to the roof to film the ambulances. He barely had a chance to look and the sniper targeted him,” said his brother Mo’men Abu Daghash. “He has nothing to do with it and he has children and his wife is about to give birth.”

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Violence has raged in the West Bank for more than a year, with increased Israeli military attacks, increasing settler attacks on Palestinian villages and a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

As the day dawned in the Nur Shams camp, residents took stock of the rubble-strewn streets and buildings damaged in an operation that witnesses said lasted about six hours.

According to the military, special vehicles dug up roads in the camp, uncovered a large number of hidden bombs and detonated at least one roadside bomb.

Some 13,519 people are registered with the UN refugee agency in the Nur Shams camp, descendants of Palestinians who were displaced or fled their homes during the war over the creation of Israel in 1948.

In a separate incident, the Israeli military said it had arrested eight students from Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, whom it described as wanted suspects with ties to Hamas who were planning an attack in the near future.

Source : www.investing.com

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