From the start of this year until July 26, at least 48 Palestinians have been killed and more than 11,000 wounded by Israelis in the occupied West Bank, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In this file photo taken on May 18, 2021, Israeli forces intervene in a Palestinian protest against Israel's attacks on blockaded Gaza and violations in occupied East Jerusalem in Bethlehem.
In this file photo taken on May 18, 2021, Israeli forces intervene in a Palestinian protest against Israel's attacks on blockaded Gaza and violations in occupied East Jerusalem in Bethlehem. (AA)

Israeli forces opened fire on residents of a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, killing at least four Palestinians, witnesses have said.

The Palestinians were transported to Jenin State Hospital late on Sunday.

Witnesses said a conflict broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank.

Israeli soldiers reportedly used tear gas as well as live bullets. 

Israeli police said in a statement that special forces disguised as Palestinians came under heavy fire while on a mission to detain a suspect.

"The undercover forces returned fire towards the terrorists and neutralised them," the police said, referring to Palestinians killed.

From the start of this year until July 26, Israel has killed 48 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000 in the occupied West Bank, according to figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Israeli authorities have demolished at least 421 structures belonging to Palestinians in the first half of 2021, a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2020, the Norwegian Refugee Council, a humanitarian NGO, previously said in a statement.

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Rising tensions

In recent weeks, the tension between Israeli forces and Palestinians has been rising in northern occupied West Bank, mainly in Jenin and Beita.

The inhabitants of Beita have held a number of protests in recent weeks against the Israeli occupation and the settlement expansion, triggering violent confrontations.

Beita residents have been demonstrating since May against the wildcat Jewish settlement of Eviatar set up nearby without official permission from Israeli authorities.

The settlement was evacuated in early July but Israeli army troops remain stationed there while authorities deliberate on its fate.

If the settlement is approved, its founders will be allowed to take up residence there more permanently.

Beita's residents have vowed to continue their campaign until the army also leaves the outpost.

Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War and all Jewish settlements there are considered illegal by most of the international community.

Almost half a million people live in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, alongside 2.8 million Palestinians.

Palestinians claim West Bank as well as Gaza for a future state with the now-occupied East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinian Authority, set up under interim peace accords with Israel in the 1990s, exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank but Israeli forces are dominant in the area where they often carry out raids to detain suspects.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies