Six Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and dozens more injured during three separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, the Palestinian Ministry of Health told CNN—incidents that come during a controversial meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden.
Four people died and over 30 were injured when the Israeli military invaded the Jenin refugee camp Tuesday evening and exchanged fire with Palestinian militants,—Israel claims the Palestinian militants fired first—CNN reported, citing the ministry and an anonymous witness, who said that electricity was knocked out from the camp for some time.
The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement that troops entered the camp as part of “counterterrorism activity” and claimed that “armed gunmen opened fire” at them before they returned fire.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, a Palestinian man was killed and several others were injured when Israeli forces fired across the Gaza border fence at protesters who had been holding regular protests along the border for the past week; the earlier protests had, at times, turned violent, with protesters throwing explosive devices and burning tires as well as occasionally firing guns at Israeli guards.
The IDF said in a statement, “hundreds of rioters gathered in a violent riot adjacent to the security fence in the Gaza Strip…a number of explosive devices were activated by the rioters.”
On Wednesday morning, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli military who entered the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho.
Israeli forces said they were attempting to apprehend 10 wanted suspects when explosive devices were hurled at them and they returned fire.
The West Bank and the Gaza strip have been under military occupation by Israel since 1967. The West Bank has been embroiled by nearly daily violence throughout 2023, spurred by nightly raids from Israeli forces, putting the region on track for its bloodiest year since 2005. Notably, in July, Israel struck the refugee camp in Jenin—the same one that saw four people die on Tuesday—with gunfire, armored bulldozers and at least one Apache helicopter, the first time a helicopter gunship had been used in the conflict since the second Palestinian uprising around two decades ago. That fighting lasted 10 hours, killed five and injured 91.
The violence unfolded while Israel’s leader Netanyahu was visiting Biden and New York during the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. The meeting will be the first between the two since Netanyahu formed his far-right coalition government last year, a buck to tradition as the U.S. has typically invited Israeli leaders to the White House within weeks of them starting their tenure. The delay, as well as the meeting taking place in New York instead of Washington, D.C., is widely seen as a signal of Biden’s displeasure with Netayahu’s new government, which has taken a hardline on the conflict with the Palestinians and attempted to overhaul the country’s judiciary in a way that makes it more favorable to them, according to the AP. Biden opened the meeting by saying they would discuss “some tough issues” including “upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership, including checks and balances.”