Israel forces critically wound two Palestinians in occupied West Bank

Israel forces critically wound two Palestinians in occupied West Bank
The official Palestinian news agency said two men were hospitalised, with the Israeli army claiming in a statement that its forces fired at 'suspects who hurtled explosive devices'.
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The Israeli military was conducting an arrest raid near Jenin [Joel Carillet/Getty-file photo]

Israeli forces critically injured two Palestinian men in the illegally occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian health ministry said on the same day Israel launched its third violent raid against East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque in recent days.

The Israeli military was conducting an arrest raid in the village of Yamun, west of Jenin in Palestine's northern West Bank, when troops fired upon Palestinians with live ammunition.

Two wounded men were hospitalised, according to official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces fired at "suspects who hurtled explosive devices".

The military said it arrested 11 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank overnight on Monday.

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It comes as 25 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and 14 killed in Israel in attacks by Palestinians in recent weeks, according to an Associated Press count.

The Palestinian figure includes those who had carried out attacks. However, this also includes an unarmed woman who was shot because she looked "suspicious", despite her holding her hands above her head and running away from the checkpoint she had been walking near, in addition to a lawyer who was killed separately.

Israel has sent forces to search through Palestinian cities and villages in search of suspects or accomplices linked to two deadly attacks on Israelis in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a crowded Tel Aviv bar, killing three, and fled the scene. He was later killed in a shootout with police after an extensive manhunt.

There have also been three other attacks elsewhere in Israel of late.

Jenin is considered a stronghold of Palestinian militants and Israeli forces, who illegally occupy the West Bank, often come under fire when operating in the area. The Palestinian Authority's hold on power in Jenin has also looked threatened.

Israel illegally occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967. While Israel no longer maintains a presence in Gaza, it has placed the enclave under a crushing, illegal siege since 2007.

In recent days, Jerusalem has been the site of three raids by Israeli forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. 

On Monday, Jordan, which serves as custodian of the site, summoned Israel’s chargé d’affaires to protest Israel’s actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in recent days, the Israeli foreign ministry confirmed.

Last year, Israel launched a deadly 11-day bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip, killing over 250 Palestinians there, while rocket fire from Hamas and other Gaza militants killed 13 in Israel.