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Israeli air strike on the occupied West Bank kills at least five Palestinians

THE Israeli military said today that it had conducted an air strike in the area of the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. 

This came as news broke that Tel Aviv has approved plans to build nearly 5,300 new homes in settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that five people were killed during the Israeli action.

Israeli authorities said that soldiers had “encircled a building where terrorists have barricaded themselves in” and the soldiers were exchanging fire, while an air strike had “struck several armed terrorists” in the area.

No further details were immediately available from either side.

The clashes in Jenin came a day after an Israeli anti-settlement monitoring group said that the government plans to build nearly 5,300 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s turbocharged settlement drive threatens to further stoke tensions there.

The construction plans revealed by the Peace Now group are part of the far-right  government’s efforts to beef up settlements to cement control over the West Bank and prevent a future Palestinian state. 

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported that its emergency crew was assaulted by Israeli forces in the town of Beita, south of Nablus.

Violence has spiralled in the West Bank since the start of Israel's war on Gaza, sparked by the October 7 raid into southern Israel by Hamas.

Relentless Israeli air strikes have killed at least five Palestinians, including three children in Jabalia in northern Gaza.

A married couple were also reported to have been killed in the southern city of Khan Younis.

No names of those killed were immediately provided.

Fierce Palestinian resistance has been reported as Israeli forces carry out an assault in the Shujayea neighbourhood of Gaza City. The Israelis claim to have killed about 100 Palestinians.

Ceasefire talks appeared to be reviving after stalling for weeks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Thursday that he was sending negotiators to resume the talks, a day after Hamas handed mediators its latest response to a US-backed proposal for a deal.

Israeli negotiators were expected to arrive in Doha, Qatar’s capital, for the talks today, with US, Egyptian and Qatari officials present to act as mediators.

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