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AT LEAST eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Saturday, Palestine’s Health Ministry said yesterday.
Five people were killed in the Jenin refugee camp and three more in other parts of the occupied territory even as Israel and Hamas observed a truce in Gaza for ongoing prisoner-hostage swaps.
An Israeli Defence Forces statement said troops entered Jenin to make arrests connected to the killing of an Israeli father and son at a car wash earlier in the year, and that the slain were “militants.” It also claimed to be using engineering equipment to uncover buried explosive devices in response to Palestinian accusations that military bulldozers were destroying infrastructure.
Since Hamas’s attack from Gaza on October 7, Israel has launched a wave of repressive violence in the West Bank alongside its war on Gaza, which has killed over 14,000 people.
Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by soldiers and scores by settler violence, with Israeli settlers leafleting Palestinian villages warning of a “second Nakba” (the Arab term for the forcible expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes when Israel was established in 1948). Thousands of Palestinians have also been arrested, doubling the number held in Israeli jails in a few weeks.
On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron condemned the attacks on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank after criticising the “too high” casualty figures from Gaza.
“People are actually targeting and on occasion killing Palestinian civilians, it’s completely unacceptable and those people responsible for that, it’s not good enough just to arrest them, they need to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned. These are crimes,” Lord Cameron said during a diplomatic trip to Israel and Palestine.
The remarks are the strongest criticism of Israel’s actions made so far by the British government, reflecting growing unease as towns and cities in Britain see Palestine solidarity demonstrations week after week.
Regional fallout from Israel’s war is also thought to be behind the seizure yesterday of a tanker belonging to Zodiac Maritime, a firm owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, in waters off Yemen.
The group responsible had not been identified when the Morning Star went to press, though Yemen’s Houthi movement has previously seized a cargo vessel in the Red Sea. Another Israeli-owned ship was hit by a drone on Friday.
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