Israeli forces kill at least five Palestinians in the West Bank

Israeli soldiers (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Rosie Scammell

The National  /  September 21, 2021

The manhunt for six Palestinian escapees from an Israeli prison earlier this month has increased tensions

At least five Palestinians were killed by the Israeli security forces on Sunday, Palestinian officials said, in the worst violence for weeks in the occupied West Bank.

Two people were killed in the northern village of Burqin, west of the city of Jenin, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Five other Palestinians were wounded as Israeli forces arrested seven people around the city.

Separately, three people were killed in the village of Bidu, north-west of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The killings follow an intense security presence in the West Bank this month, following the escape of six Palestinians from a high-security Israeli prison.

A high-profile manhunt that began on September 6 led to the capture of four of the fugitives days later, around the Israeli-Palestinian city of Nazareth. The remaining two escapees were apprehended in Jenin after spending nearly two weeks on the run.

Protests were held in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel in support of the escapees.

Last month, four Palestinians were shot dead during an operation by undercover Israeli agents in Jenin. Officers returned fire after being shot at during the raid on August 16, Israeli police said.

The Palestinian presidency condemned those killings as a “heinous crime” that would increase tensions.

Rosie Scammell – correspondent, Jerusalem