The statement read, “The Arab League condemns the escalating violations and overt war policies of the fascist right-wing Israeli cabinet and the massacres committed throughout occupied Palestine,” IRNA reported.
According to the statement, these crimes include premeditated massacres, daily extrajudicial executions, demolitions of homes and sites, settlement expansion, and desecration of Islamic and Christian holy places. The latest instance of these atrocities was the raid on the Balata refugee camp, east of the city of Nablus.
Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in the raid on the refugee camp in what the regime described as an operation targeting “terrorist” suspects.
In a statement, the Palestinian Health Ministry identified the three men killed in the Balata camp in Nablus as Muhammad Abu Zaytoun, 32, Fathi Abu Rizk, 30, and Abdullah Abu Hamdan, 24, AFP reported.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party, said in a statement that the three were among the group’s “fighters”.
The group’s emblem was wrapped around the foreheads of the men in a morgue, and their bodies were shrouded in the Palestinian flag.
An unspecified number of Palestinians were also injured during the raid on the refugee camp, some of them critically.
Israeli forces, who were accompanied by two military bulldozers during the raid, then surrounded the camp, blocking all entry points and demolishing three Palestinian homes, Press TV reported.
Palestinian Presidency Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh described the killings as a “veritable massacre” and charged that repeated Israeli raids and attacks by settlers constituted a “major war crime and a collective punishment”.
He said “silence” from the United States had emboldened Israelis to escalate attacks, calling on Washington to “immediately intervene to stop the Israeli madness that will drag the region toward explosion”.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War, and its forces regularly launch incursions into Palestinian cities, which are nominally under the control of Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
Deadly military operations have surged in recent months across the Palestinian territory.
Muhammad Zuhd, an activist from the camp, said “violent clashes took place between resistance fighters and the Israeli army” after hundreds of soldiers entered Balata.
Samer Thouqan, from Fatah, said residents “were surprised by an extreme, barbaric attack”.
“They (Israeli troops) started shooting from all sides and destroyed many homes in this camp,” he said.
Following the raid, Palestinians inspected the rubble of a damaged building and salvaged belongings.
The Hamas militant group, which rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, described those killed as “freedom fighters”.
“Hamas reiterates that resisting the (Israeli) occupation is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom,” the group said in a statement.
Densely-populated Balata is home to some 27,000 people, making it the largest camp in the West Bank, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
The Israeli army also reported clashes in an operation in Jenin, north of Nablus, where it said suspects hurled explosive devices and fired at the soldiers.
The troops “responded with live fire” and in two cases “a hit was identified”, the statement said.
Israeli forces arrested three suspects in Jenin and seven others in other parts of the West Bank, it added.
Since the start of the year, at least 153 Palestinians, 20 Israelis, a Ukrainian, and an Italian have been killed in violence linked to the conflict, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources from both sides.