World (AP)

An Israeli raid on Jenin, a West Bank militant stronghold, kills 1, Palestinians say | AP News

An Israeli raid on Jenin, a West Bank militant stronghold, kills 1, Palestinians say | AP News

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in a raid on a militant stronghold in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, the latest violence in a city that has seen some of the worst bloodshed in the current round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Violence has gripped the region since last spring, when Israel launched near-nightly raids in response to a spate of deadly Palestinian attacks. The violence has escalated into the fiercest fighting in the West Bank in some two decades, and along with increased violence by radical Jewish settlers and settlement expansion by Israel’s far-right government, has fueled tensions in the region.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man killed as Mustafa al-Kastouni, 32. It was not immediately clear if the man was affiliated with a militant group. The Hamas militant group said its fighters engaged in a gun battle with Israeli troops in Jenin and lobbed explosives at the forces.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Jenin, a city where Palestinian security forces have little presence, has long been a bastion of armed struggle against Israel. The city and an adjacent refugee camp have been the focus of Israel’s monthslong operation, with an intense 2-day offensive last month the height of those efforts. Israel deployed armed drones and hundreds of troops, leaving vast destruction and killing 12 Palestinians, most of them militants. An Israeli soldier also died.

Israel says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians see the violence as a natural response to 56 years of occupation, including stepped-up settlement construction by Israel’s government and increased violence by Jewish settlers.

The ongoing violence in the West Bank has surged to levels unseen in nearly two decades, with more than 170 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

Israel says most of those killed have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in the confrontations also have been killed.

At least 27 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis since the beginning of the year.

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


Shurafa reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip.