TULKAREM: Zionist forces shot dead two Palestinians in a predawn raid Sunday in the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said. Violence has surged since early last year, particularly in the West Bank, where eight Palestinians have now been killed in Zionist incursions since Tuesday. “Two Palestinians were killed by live (Zionist) bullets to the head,” the ministry said. The Palestinian health ministry identified the two killed as Osaid Abu Ali, 21, and Abd al-Rahman Abu Daghash, 32.

Palestinian group Hamas said that “martyr Osaid Abu Ali” was one of its fighters. Ibrahim Al-Nimer, a representative of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group in the camp, told AFP that “the army entered the camp after 2:00 am ... and demolished streets and some houses”. An AFP journalist who toured the Nur Shams camp hours after the raid saw that a roof of a building and its walls had fully caved in, as residents inspected the damage. Several military vehicles had entered the camp during the night, resident Omar Sabhan told AFP.

“The situation was very scary. Snipers were stationed ... and they shot anything that moved,” he said. He added that residents of the camp backed Palestinian “resistance” groups. “Everyone wants this resistance. This is a legitimate right,” he said. Later on Sunday, crowds of mourners attended the funeral of the two Palestinians. Zionist forces had raided the same camp on Sept 5, and a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group had been shot dead at the time. Recent months have seen a surge in military raids and a rise in Zionist settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

In early July, the Zionist army carried out its biggest raid in years on the Jenin refugee camp in which at least 13 Palestinians were killed, including militants and children. The Zionist entity has occupied the West Bank — now home to some three million Palestinians — since the Six-Day War of 1967. Excluding annexed east Jerusalem, the territory is now home to around 490,000 Zionists who live in settlements that are considered illegal under international law. The Palestinians, who seek their own independent state, want the Zionist entity to withdraw from all land it occupied in the Six-Day War and to dismantle all Zionist settlements.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government has pushed forward settlement expansion. After a meeting in Beirut, three Palestinian factions — Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – called for increasing “armed resistance” against the “rising Zionist aggression against our people”. Unrest has also surged in recent days in the Zionist-blockaded Gaza Strip, where Palestinians have been holding daily protests along the border with the Zionist entity.

On Saturday, the Zionist army carried out a drone strike after violent protests in which three Palestinians were wounded by Zionist fire. The strike was one of a series that have come amid the protests after the Zionist entity closed the Erez crossing, the only one for pedestrians into the Zionist entity from Gaza. Since Sept 13, six Palestinians have been killed and nearly 100 wounded during violence at the border, according to Gaza health ministry figures. The Zionist entity has imposed an air, land and sea blockade on the impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave since Hamas seized control there in 2007. At least 241 Palestinians have been killed so far this year. – AFP