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Five Palestinian fighters killed in West Bank air strike

By AFP - Nov 19,2023 - Last updated at Nov 19,2023

Smoke raises during an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp overnight on Thursday (AFP photo)

NABLUS, Palestinian Territories — Five fighters in the armed wing of the Fateh Party were killed early on Saturday in a rare Israeli air strike on the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent and Fateh sources said.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said the Israeli occupation forces killed five people in Balata refugee camp in Nablus, home to some 24,000 according to the United Nations which manages it.

Witnesses told AFP the strike appeared to have come from a drone, and Fateh sources confirmed the dead were members of the movement founded by Yasser Arafat.

Witnesses said Israeli forces entered the camp on foot after the air strike and destroyed an empty house without causing further casualties.

The air strike came a day after Israel's army said it had killed at least seven people in two separate confrontations in the West Bank.

Until now Jenin, considered the main militant hotspot in the West Bank,  was the only location in the occupied territory to witness air strikes since the Hamas-Israel war started.

The Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah says since the war started more than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, with a spike in army raids and Israeli settler violence.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week urged Israel to act to confront "rising levels of settler extremist violence".

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