The Latest | Hamas commander killed in West Bank clash

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Hamas said that one of its commanders in the occupied West Bank was killed in a clash with Israeli forces, while Israel said four soldiers were killed in an explosion in Rafah.

In a statement released late Monday, Hamas said Mohammed Jaber Abdo was killed along with three other fighters in a village near Ramallah, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority is headquartered.

A joint statement by the Israeli army and police earlier on Monday said undercover forces had tracked down a suspect wanted in an attack on a nearby Jewish settlement.

Violence has surged in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza, which was ignited by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel.

Over 530 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank since then, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Most were killed during violent protests or Israeli arrest raids, which often trigger gunbattles.

Israeli media, citing unnamed security officials, reported that four soldiers were killed Monday when explosives they were using to clear the building were triggered prematurely, causing it to collapse, killing four soldiers and wounding 11. Hamas said that it had booby trapped the building and attacked the soldiers with mortars after the explosion.

Earlier Monday, the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly approved a U.S. resolution that welcomes a proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 36,730 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. Palestinians are facing widespread hunger because the war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies. U.N. agencies say over 1 million in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Currently:

Blinken returns to Mideast as Israel-Hamas cease-fire proposal hangs in balance after hostage rescue

— How an Israeli raid freed 4 hostages and killed at least 274 Palestinians in Gaza

— What does Israel’s rescue of 4 captives, and the killing of 274 Palestinians, mean for truce talks?

Centrist Benny Gantz is quitting Israel’s war Cabinet, citing frustrations with Netanyahu

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here’s the latest:

4 Israeli soldiers killed in explosion in Rafah

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says four soldiers died in an explosion in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli media, citing unnamed security officials, reported that the soldiers were killed Monday when explosives they were using to clear the building were triggered prematurely, causing it to collapse, killing four soldiers and wounding 11.

The Hamas militant group said it had booby-trapped the building and attacked the soldiers with mortar rounds after the explosion.

The military targeted the building because they believed there was a Hamas operative inside who was involved in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held in Gaza for five years, according to Israeli media.

Israel launched what it says is a limited ground operation in parts of Rafah in early May. Some 1 million Palestinians, most of them already displaced from other parts of Gaza, have fled the offensive in Rafah. The United Nations estimates as few as 200,000 to 300,000 people still remain in the city.

The military says at least 298 soldiers have been killed since the start of the Gaza ground operation following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel that triggered the war.

HAMAS COMMANDER KILLED IN WEST BANK

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Hamas says one of its commanders in the occupied West Bank was killed in a clash with Israeli forces.

In a statement released late Monday, Hamas said Mohammed Jaber Abdo was killed along with three other fighters in a village near Ramallah, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority is headquartered. It said Abdo had spent 20 years in Israeli prisons.

A joint statement by the Israeli army and police earlier on Monday said undercover forces had tracked down a suspect wanted in an attack on a nearby Jewish settlement.

It said that the man was hiding in a compound with three other suspects and that forces opened fire when they tried to run them over with a car and flee. It said weapons were found in the car.

Violence has surged in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza, which was ignited by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel.

Over 530 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Most were killed during violent protests or Israeli arrest raids, which often trigger gunbattles.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

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