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Israel raid kills West Bank fighter, wounds health worker

By AFP - Aug 18,2023 - Last updated at Aug 18,2023

Relatives of Palestinian fighter Mustafa Al Kastouni, 32, killed in an Israeli military raid in the morning, weep during his funeral in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday (AFP photo)

JENIN, Palestinian Territories — Israeli occupation forces on Thursday killed a Palestinian fighter and shot a health worker during a raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian and Israeli officials said.

The West Bank has seen surge in violence since early last year, with a string of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli targets, repeated Israeli army raids and violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities.

"Mustafa Al Kastouni, 32, was killed after being shot in the head, chest and abdomen by the occupation (Israeli forces) during an aggression on Jenin," the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.

It said a woman who "works in supporting medical professionals" was shot in the chest and abdomen during the raid.

Jenin's deputy governor, Kamal Abu Al Rub, said she was in critical condition.

The Israeli army said its forces entered Jenin to detain wanted Palestinians, but provided no immediate comment when asked by AFP about the reported shooting of a healthcare worker.

An AFP photographer saw Palestinians gathering following the raid around a heap of shattered timber and rubble in a narrow street of the city, a stronghold of Palestinian fighters in the northern West Bank.

The Jenin Brigades, a local armed group, said Kastouni was killed when fighters had confronted Israeli forces with “salvos of bullets and explosive devices” as the troops “infiltrated” Jenin.

Kastouni himself was a fighter from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant group linked to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fateh movement, the Jenin Brigades said.

At least 48 Palestinians including civilians and militants have been killed so far this year in Israeli raids on Jenin city and its refugee camp.

Excluding occupied east Jerusalem, the West Bank is home to nearly three million Palestinians and around 490,000 Israelis who live in settlements considered illegal under international law.

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