6 Palestinians said killed in IDF drone strike near West Bank’s Tulkarem

Military says it targeted group throwing explosives at troops in Nur Shams refugee camp, where overnight raid sparked violent clashes

File: Smoke rises during an Israeli military raid in Tulkarem, in the West Bank, December 17, 2023. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
File: Smoke rises during an Israeli military raid in Tulkarem, in the West Bank, December 17, 2023. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

An Israeli drone strike killed six Palestinians during an overnight raid near Tulkarem in the northern West Bank early Wednesday morning, Palestinian Authority health officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that it launched a counter-terror raid on the Nur Shams refugee camp overnight, where it arrested three wanted Palestinians and seized a dozen weapons.

During the raid, the military said it struck the group of Palestinian gunmen who threw explosives at troops.  Military sources said the IDF was aware of six Palestinians being killed in the strike.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said an additional four people were wounded during the incident, three of them seriously, but did not specify if they were armed.

Troops entered Tulkarem and the Nur Shams refugee camp with bulldozers and military vehicles. Violent clashes then broke out in the city.

The IDF said engineering vehicles uncovered and destroyed explosive devices hidden under and on the sides of roads in the area.


The area around Tulkarem has been of heightened concern in recent days after residents of the neighboring Israeli local council of Bat Hefer reported hearing digging sounds under their homes, prompting a search for tunnels.

In a raid on Nur Shams overnight Monday, security forces seized makeshift rockets and other weapons, the military said.

The discovery was not the first time rockets have been located in the West Bank. Throughout the year, there have been several failed attempted launches of rockets from Jenin, and troops found makeshift rockets in the city. However, such a discovery in Tulkarem is noteworthy, as it is far closer to Israel’s major population centers in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Violence in the West Bank has soared since October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into Israel from the land, air and sea in a shock assault in which they massacred more than 1,200 people and seized some 240 hostages. In response to the deadliest attack in the country’s history, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip, where the terror group has ruled since 2007.

Since October 7, troops have arrested more than 2,550 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,300 affiliated with Hamas. According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, some 300 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

Based on military estimates, the vast majority of those killed since October 7 were shot during clashes amid arrest raids, and many of them, according to data seen by The Times of Israel, were armed with either a firearm or an explosive device.

The IDF is aware of at least three cases of uninvolved Palestinians being killed by troops in recent months, and a handful of cases of settlers killing Palestinians, which are still under investigation.

Most Popular
read more: