Palestine said Monday that Israeli forces martyred three Palestinians during a raid conducted in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, which the Israeli military termed a “counterterrorism operation”.
The Palestinian health ministry said in a statement that the three men martyred in the Balata camp in Nablus were identified as Muhammad Abu Zaytoun, 32, Fathi Abu Rizk, 30, and Abdullah Abu Hamdan, 24.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party’s media wing said in a statement that the three people were among the group’s members.
During their burial, the bodies of the martyred Palestinians were shrouded in the Palestinian flag.
According to the Israeli military, it had shot several fighters when a gun battle erupted during a counterterrorism operation.
It went on to say that during the operation, “armed suspects fired at the soldiers, who responded with live fire. Hits were identified.”
It apprehended three “wanted individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activity”, adding that weapons and ammunition were seized.
The spokesperson of the Palestinian president Nabil Abu Rudeineh described the killings as a “veritable massacre” and charged that repeated Israeli raids and attacks by settlers constituted a “major war crime and a collective punishment”.
He said that “silence from the United States had emboldened Israelis to escalate attacks,” calling Washington to immediately intervene to stop the “Israeli madness that will drag the region toward the explosion”.
The West Bank has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War in which its forces repeatedly carry out brutality on the Palestinian population, which is nominally under the control of Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
Israeli military operations have spiked in recent months across Palestine as the brutal attacks have resulted in numerous lives of innocent Palestinians.
According to the AFP reports, the Israeli-occupied forces raided several houses in the camp and conducted searches for people they wanted.
A witness was quoted as saying: “Gunfire and loud explosions rocked the camp and a house was demolished.”
Israel’s army, meanwhile, noted that it had “located in one of the residences an explosives manufacturing site” and detonated it.
After the Israeli attack, the Palestinian people searched the rubble of a damaged building and saved their belongings.
Hamas group which controls Gaza Strip regarded the martyred Palestinians as Freedom Fighters.
“Hamas reiterates that resisting the [Israeli] occupation is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom,” Hamas said in a statement.
According to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Balata is home to some 27,000 people, making it the largest camp in the West Bank.
Last night’s raid was conducted just after a week of feeble Gaza ceasefire after a five-day of fighting between Israel and Palestine.
Since the start of the year, 153 Palestinians have been martyred by the Israeli-occupied forces as per the AFP reported.