Five Palestinians killed from Israeli army gunfire near Jericho

Five Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli military at dawn today in Aqbat Jabr refugee camp, in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, according to medical sources.

A sizable Israeli force barged its way into the refugee camp, triggering confrontations.

The heavily-armed soldiers opened fire toward local young men, killing five, who were later identified as Raafat Wael Aweidat, 21, and his brother Ibrahim Wael Aweidat, 27, Adham Majdi Aweidat, 22, Thayer Aweidat, 28, and Malik Awni Lafi, 22.

The Ministry of Health said it was informed of the five killed, whose bodies were taken by the army, through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Authority, and that it was following up on the case of others who were wounded and arrested by the army.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that its medics provided treatment to three live gunfire injuries, including one seriously injured later moved to a hospital in Ramallah, and three suffocation cases.

PRCS added that the soldiers obstructed the work of its medics and attacked one of its ambulances while trying to prevent it from entering the refugee camp.

The soldiers also ransacked several houses in the refugee camp and detained at least 11 Palestinians said to be relatives of the ones killed this morning.

Last night, undercover soldiers rounded up two brothers from a coffee shop at the main entrance of the refugee camp.

The Israeli army has tightened security measures around Jericho in recent days in the hunt for a Palestinian accused of carrying out a shooting attack against an Israeli restaurant.

Tension mounted across the Palestinian territories following an Israeli military incursion in the West Bank city of Jenin last week that left 10 Palestinians dead. Seven Israelis were also killed in a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

With the killing of the five, the Israeli army shot and killed 41 Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem since the start of the year. Last year the toll reached 224 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, considered the highest in one year since 2015.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency