Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians during a raid in the occupied West Bank, and another Palestinian in a separate incident in the blockaded Gaza Strip, as Israel bars entry to thousands of Palestinian labourers from the coastal enclave.
The West Bank raid took place on Tuesday in the Jenin refugee camp, with some 20 others also injured, according to Palestinian health officials. The dead have not yet been named.
In Gaza, the Palestinian man killed was identified as Yousef Salem Radwan, 25. He was shot by Israeli forces east of Khan Yunis in Gaza, reported Palestinian media.
Relatives and friends of one of the victims at Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin [Ayman Nobani/Al Jazeera]
The Israeli military did not confirm the Gaza killing, but said that “rioters” had gathered next to the fence that separates Gaza from Israel, and that “a number of explosive devices were activated by the rioters”. The military also gave few details about the deaths in the Jenin, apart from saying that it had carried out a drone attack.
The violence came after Israel announced late on Sunday that it would keep the Beit Hanoun (called “Erez” by Israel) crossing closed following an eruption of border protests and a “security assessment” by defence officials.
“The reopening of the crossing will be subject to ongoing evaluation based on the evolving situation in the region,” said COGAT, a unit of the Israeli defence ministry responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.
The closure of Beit Hanoun, the sole pedestrian passageway out of the enclave into Israel, has left roughly 18,000 Palestinians from Gaza who have been issued Israeli work permits unable to access their jobs.
The string of protests came during a holiday season in Israel that began with the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year last week and continues through the Sukkot festival next week.
During the holidays, large numbers of Jews are expected to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, also known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City – in the past this has meant restrictions on Palestinian access to the holy site, which is also a Palestinian national symbol.
Gazan officials said medical cases were still allowed to use the crossing, which Israel had been due to reopen Monday following a shutdown due to Jewish holidays.