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Israeli Army Fails to Arrest Wanted Men in Jericho

Israeli Army Fails to Arrest Wanted Men in Jericho

Sunday, 5 February, 2023 - 10:30
A house demolished by the Israeli army in Aqabat Jaber camp. (AFP)

The Israeli army said it concluded on Saturday a 4-hour military operation in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp southwest of Jericho without arresting individuals wanted in a shooting attack that took place last week in a nearby restaurant.

The army confirmed that it arrested the “suspects” and not the “wanted” men.

The military spokesperson said that hundreds of soldiers besieged two buildings where wanted individuals took shelter. While six of them surrendered from one of the buildings, the soldiers launched rockets at the other building. There were no Israeli soldiers wounded.

Israel transformed the camp into a battlefield after it stormed it, besieged the houses, and conducted field interrogations with the residents, leading to more than 19 injuries among Palestinians.

Naser Anani, the director of Jericho Governmental Hospital, said that three critical injuries were transferred to hospitals in Ramallah.

The West Bank is on the edge after Israel killed ten Palestinians in one attack on Jenin which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded to by halting security coordination. A Palestinian opened fire on Israelis the next day and killed seven.

Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the leadership has rejected all the pressures exerted on it to discourage it from continuing with its international movement and retract the decisions it had recently taken, including defining the relationship with Israel and ending security coordination.

He said that the leadership's decision is to continue to regulate the relationship with the occupying power, stop security coordination, not succumb to Israeli threats, and continue with measures to provide protection for the Palestinian people, stressing expediting steps at the ICC to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.

For the second straight year, the Biden administration has circled the month of Ramadan as a potential accelerant for another eruption in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Senior US officials used their visits to Jerusalem over the last two weeks to urge Israel to take preemptive steps in the coming weeks in order to ensure that the sensitive period does not feature more bloodshed, two US and Israeli officials told The Times of Israel.

The holy month is slated to begin around March 22.

The top Biden aides made clear that the issue is a matter of concern for the US and they asked their Israeli counterparts how they plan to address the matter.

The US official said that a particular emphasis was placed on them confirming that Israel will ensure adherence to the status quo at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

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