Palestinians: 6 killed in Israeli army raid in West Bank

JERUSALEM (AP): Palestinian officials say at least six Palestinians have been killed and dozens were wounded in an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.

They say that a 72-year-old man was among the dead.

The raid on Wednesday took place in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a scene of frequent Israeli military activity.

It was one of the bloodiest incidents in nearly a year of heavy fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and raised the possibility of further bloodshed.

The Israeli military said its troops were operating in Nablus, but provided no further information. Amateur video footage appeared to show Israeli troops operating in downtown Nablus, and army vehicles firing tear gas canisters.

At least 51 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem since the start of 2023. Last year, nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, making it the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to figures by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Israel says that most of those killed have been militants but others — including youths protesting the incursions and other people not involved in confrontations — have also been killed.

Israel says the military raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks while the Palestinians view them as further entrenchment of Israel’s open-ended, 55-year occupation.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war, territories the Palestinians seek for their hoped-for independent state.