Middle East

Israel forces launch lethal strike on West Bank’s Jenin

By Kareem Khadder, Abeer Salman, Alex Stambaugh, Eyad Kourdi and Helen Regan, CNN

CNN  —  Israeli forces launched a large military operation in Jenin in the northern West Bank overnight Sunday, killing at least three people and injuring 25 others, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In a statement posted to Telegram in the early hours of Monday morning, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it launched an “extensive counterterrorism effort in the area of the city of Jenin and the Jenin Camp,” striking “terrorist infrastructure.”

Residents in Jenin told CNN they heard explosions and heavy gunfire in the area, while video from the scene showed wounded Palestinians being evacuated by ambulance to Jenin Government Hospital.

Of those injured, seven are critical, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Mahmoud al-Saadi, director of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin, said most of the injuries are “serious and in the upper part of the body,” adding the process of transferring the injured has been difficult.

Footage shared with journalists appeared to show operations ongoing in parts of the Jenin refugee camp and Israeli military vehicles on the streets of Jenin on Monday morning. CNN has not been able to independently verify the videos.

The IDF said it struck a joint operational command center for the Jenin Camp and operatives of the Jenin Brigade, a Palestinian militant group associated with Islamic Jihad.

“The operational command center also served as an advanced observation and reconnaissance center, a place where armed terrorists would gather before and after terrorist activities,” the IDF said, adding that the camp was a “site for weapons and explosives” and “hub for coordination and communication among the terrorists.”

“Additionally, the command center provided shelter for wanted individuals involved in carrying out terror attacks in recent months in the area,” it said.

The IDF later said it had seized explosive devices during the operations, which were carried out in coordination with the Israel Securities Authority (ISA).

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement the IDF have been “operating against terror hotspots” in Jenin and that “anyone who harms the citizens of Israel, will pay a heavy price.”

“We are closely watching the actions of our enemies and Israel’s defense establishment is prepared for every scenario,” the minister said.

The Jenin Brigade claimed it had severely damaged at least one Israeli military vehicle with improvised explosive devices and its militants continue to clash with Israeli forces “to prevent its advance inside the camp.”

Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it will face its enemy “with all possible retaliation options,” in response to the Israeli operations in Jenin.

“The aggression on Jenin will not achieve its targets, Jenin will not surrender. We will face the enemy with all possible retaliation options in response to the enemy aggression on Jenin,” the militant group posted to its official Telegram channel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the large-scale Israeli military operation, calling it “a new war crime.”

“Security and stability will not be achieved in the region unless our Palestinian people feel it. What the Israeli occupation government is doing in the city of Jenin and its camp is a new war crime against our defenseless people,” he said, according to presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

The raid comes less than two weeks after an Israeli military raid on Jenin erupted into a massive firefight, leaving at least five Palestinians dead and dozens wounded. Eight Israeli troops were injured and successfully evacuated, according to the IDF.

In a separate incident, a 21-year-old man, identified as Muhammed Hassanein, was shot and killed by Israeli forces at the northern entrance of Al-Bireh near Ramallah in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Monday. The IDF has not yet commented on the incident.

CNN’s AnneClaire Stapleton and Mike Schwartz contributed reporting.

Related Articles

Back to top button