Palestinian Group Accuses Israel of Killing Fighter

Israeli troops walk near a scene of the stabbing incident near Hebron, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Reuters)
Israeli troops walk near a scene of the stabbing incident near Hebron, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Reuters)
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Palestinian Group Accuses Israel of Killing Fighter

Israeli troops walk near a scene of the stabbing incident near Hebron, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Reuters)
Israeli troops walk near a scene of the stabbing incident near Hebron, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, September 2, 2022. (Reuters)

A Palestinian group accused Israel on Sunday of killing one of its top fighters in a targeted attack deep inside a West Bank city, promising to unleash a fierce response.

The Den of Lions, a group of young Palestinians that was formed out of frustration and disillusionment with the Palestinian leadership and its tight security ties with Israel, said Tamer al-Kilani was killed when an explosive device planted on a motorcycle exploded as he walked by.

The Israeli military declined to comment. The military has been conducting nightly raids in the occupied West Bank since the spring in what it says is a bid to dismantle militant networks and thwart attacks. The raids have ratcheted up tensions in the area and have been met by a series of Palestinian shooting attacks, said The Associated Press.

An Israeli military official said al-Kilani was connected to a deadly shooting attack last week that killed an Israeli soldier, as well as several other shooting attacks in the northern West Bank. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details with the media.

Two videos provided by Den of Lions showed a person on a motorcycle parking and exiting the frame. The second video showed a man, seemingly al-Kilani, walking by a motorcycle and then what appears to be a blast.

Sunday's killing happened in Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank where the Palestinian Authority has less of a foothold.

Israel accuses the Palestinians, with which it coordinates to clamp down on "militants", of being unwilling to rein in lawlessness in the area. The Palestinian Authority, created under interim peace agreements in the 1990s, rules parts of the West Bank semi-autonomously.

Many Palestinians oppose the security coordination, viewing it as a sign of the PA's weakness and as a betrayal of the Palestinian people. Widely disenchanted with the PA, which is widely seen as undemocratic and corrupt, young Palestinians are flocking to an array of fighter groups to seek weapons.

Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz has said Den of Lions has no more than 30 members and has promised that their days are numbered.

But shooting attacks in the area have been on the rise and in recent weeks have turned deadly.

The military raids in the West Bank began in the spring after a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis killed 19 people, while more recent attacks have killed several more.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem this year, making this year the deadliest since 2015. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed during the raids have been "militants". But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.

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



Israeli Tanks Hit Evacuation Zone West of Rafah, 21 Dead

May 6, 2024 | Displaced Palestinians from Rafah, following Israeli evacuation orders, arrive at Khan Yunis, Gaza. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
May 6, 2024 | Displaced Palestinians from Rafah, following Israeli evacuation orders, arrive at Khan Yunis, Gaza. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
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Israeli Tanks Hit Evacuation Zone West of Rafah, 21 Dead

May 6, 2024 | Displaced Palestinians from Rafah, following Israeli evacuation orders, arrive at Khan Yunis, Gaza. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
May 6, 2024 | Displaced Palestinians from Rafah, following Israeli evacuation orders, arrive at Khan Yunis, Gaza. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Israeli strikes on a tent camp in an evacuation area west of Rafah killed at least 21 on Tuesday, Gaza health authorities said.

Two days after an Israeli airstrike on another camp stirred global condemnation, Gaza emergency services said four tank shells hit a cluster of tents in Al-Mawasi, a coastal area that Israel had advised civilians in Rafah to move to for safety.

At least 12 of the dead were women, according to medical officials. An Israeli military spokesperson said: "As of this time, we are not aware of this incident."

International unease over Israel's three-week-old Rafah offensive has turned to outrage after an attack on Sunday set off a blaze in a tent camp in a western district of the city, killing at least 45 people. Israel said it had targeted Hamas commanders and had not intended to cause civilian casualties, Reuters reported.

Tuesday's attack occurred in an area designated by Israel as an expanded humanitarian zone, to which it had called on civilians in Rafah to evacuate for their own safety when it launched its incursion in early May.

Around one million people - many repeatedly displaced by shifting waves of the war - have fled the Israeli offensive in Rafah since early May, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) reported on Tuesday.

A video obtained by Reuters showed families on the move again, carrying their belongings through Rafah's shattered streets, their weary children trailing behind them.

"There are a lot of attacks, smoke and dust. It is death from God...The (Israelis) are hitting everywhere. We're tired," said Moayad Fusaifas, pushing along belongings on two bicycles.