Two Palestinian teens were killed during an arrest operation by the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry said.
The PA’s official Wafa news agency said both of the dead were 17-year-old boys.
The PA’s Health Ministry additionally reported there were 11 Palestinians wounded in the clashes with Israeli forces. three of them seriously. There were no immediate reports of Israeli injuries.
The Israeli military said in a statement that it had arrested a suspect accused of carrying out shooting attacks on troops in the West Bank, and that clashes broke out during the operation.
The military said dozens of Palestinians threw explosives and Molotov cocktails, as well as opening fire toward the Israeli forces.
According to the joint statement issued by the IDF and Shin Bet security agency, Israeli forces “fired at armed men in the area,” and there were a number of individuals hit. No further details were given.
The military said it had detained 25-year-old Saleh Samir Abu Zina, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group who was suspected of planning and carrying out recent shooting attacks on IDF troops operating in the West Bank.
The army said in the statement that Abu Zina has been convicted twice in the past for terror activities, and was most recently released from prison in 2020.
The Hamas terror group said the Jenin raid demonstrated the Israeli military’s weakness against “the resistance in the West Bank.”
“So it resorts to mobilizing military machines and helicopters to arrest one person,” Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said in a statement.
The operation came during a months-long period of raised tensions in the West Bank.
A day earlier, two more Palestinian teens were killed in clashes with the IDF in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said.
A 15-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during clashes that broke out during a weekly northern West Bank protest against the expropriation of land for Israeli settlements.
The IDF said its troops opened fire after the boy hurled a Molotov cocktail at troops stationed near the West Bank security fence surrounding the Palestinian town of Qalqilya.
The teen was later identified as Adel Daoud, a resident of Qalqilya. Over a dozen other Palestinians were injured in the clashes, Arabic media reported.
Palestinians from the nearby town of Kafr Qaddum have for years been holding near-weekly protests against Israel’s expropriation of land that had historically belonged to their town, but has since become part of the borders of the nearby settlement of Kedumim.
Israel often cites security concerns in justifying such moves, saying they help separate Israeli and Palestinian populations in the West Bank, while Palestinians say it is part of a policy to slowly eat away at their land and harm farmers who rely on the agricultural lands in order to make a living.
In a second incident, 17-year-old Mahdi Ladadweh, was reported shot and killed during clashes in a village northwest of Ramallah. The army had no immediate comment on the incident.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said 50 Palestinians were wounded in clashes in the village of Al Mazraa al-Gharbiya near Ramallah, as the Israeli army fired live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
Palestinian media quoted residents saying that the clashes with Israeli security forces erupted as dozens of Palestinians in Al Mazraa al-Gharbiya came out to protest incursions and attacks on the village by Israeli settlers.
Hours earlier, the IDF announced the arrest of a Palestinian suspected of attempting to carry out a pair of attacks in the West Bank, including placing an explosive device at a gas station.
The IDF and police have been on heightened alert since last week amid the Jewish holiday season, with tensions already high due to an Israeli anti-terror offensive that has seen over 100 Palestinians killed and more than 2,000 arrested in nightly raids in the West Bank.
The military launched the arrest operations after a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.
Israeli troops have repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in Palestinian cities in the West Bank. During an operation in May, a police commando was killed as troops were wrapping up an arrest operation in the Jenin area.
Last month, a senior IDF officer was killed in a gun battle with Palestinians on the northern West Bank security barrier.