JENIN, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian news agency reported Saturday that a 20-year-old died of wounds a month after being shot during an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank.
The WAFA news agency said Ezzedin Kanan, from the town of Jaba near Jenin, was shot in the head on July 3 during one of the most intense Israeli military operations in the West Bank since an armed Palestinian uprising against Israel’s open-ended occupation ended two decades ago.
An offshoot of the secular nationalist Fatah party, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, claimed Kanan as one of its “fiercest fighters” and pledged to avenge his loss. Armed and masked militants flanked the mourning procession for Kanan as his body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag and adorned with a headband from the group, was carried through his home village of Jaba.
Kanan’s death brings the total to 14 killed in the raid, which lasted two days and included airstrikes, hundreds of ground troops and bulldozers that were used to raze roads and buildings.
The army claimed to have inflicted heavy damage on militant groups in the Jenin refugee camp and that it had confiscated thousands of weapons, bomb-making materials and caches of money during the raid.
Since early 2022, Israel has been carrying out near daily raids in the West Bank in response to a series of deadly Palestinian attacks. It says the raids are meant to crack down on Palestinians militants and said they are necessary because the Palestinian Authority is too weak.
The ongoing violence in the West Bank has surged to levels unseen in nearly two decades, with more than 170 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
The Palestinians say such violence is the inevitable result of 56 years of occupation and the absence of any political process with Israel. They also point to increased West Bank settlement construction and violence by extremist settlers.
The United Nations Mideast envoy told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the upswing in violence is being fueled by growing despair about the future, with the Palestinians still seeking an independent state.
“The lack of progress towards a political horizon that addressed the core issues driving the conflict has left a dangerous and volatile vacuum, filled by extremists on all sides,” Tor Wennesland said.
Associated Press writer Sam McNeil in Jerusalem contributed to this report.