4 Palestinians killed during clashes with IDF in Jenin refugee camp

Military says it used suicide drone against gunmen during arrest raid in northern West Bank

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Smoke rises following a reported Israeli strike in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, September 19, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Smoke rises following a reported Israeli strike in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, September 19, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Four Palestinians were killed and around 30 were wounded during clashes with the Israeli military in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Tuesday evening, Palestinian health officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces said that as troops entered the refugee camp to arrest a number of wanted Palestinians, armed clashes broke out.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said its members opened fire at Israeli forces and detonated explosive devices in the area.

Israeli troops returned fire at the gunmen, hitting several of them, the IDF said.

One video showed gunfire appearing to hit a minaret where shots were apparently being fired from.

The IDF said it also used a Rafael SPIKE FireFly loitering munition, also known as a suicide drone, against a number of armed Palestinians “who endangered the forces.”

As troops withdrew from the refugee camp, an army vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, disabling it, the IDF said. It was later extracted by other forces, who also came under fire by Palestinian gunmen.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said late Tuesday that three Palestinians were shot dead and around 30 others were wounded, including several seriously, amid the clashes. A fourth Palestinian died overnight, Palestinian media reported early Wednesday.

The men were named as Mahmoud Ali Naafi as-Saadi, 23, Mahmoud Khaled Ararawi, 24, Raafat Omar Khamaiseh, 22, and Atta Yasser Atta Musa, 29.

Images circulating online showed the men brandishing assault rifles indicating they were members of local terror groups.

No Israeli soldiers were wounded, the IDF said.

Separately, Israeli troops detained a wanted Palestinian in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the IDF said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s offices said they were being updated on the fighting in Jenin as well as on rioting on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Earlier Tuesday, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces during rioting on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, health authorities in the territory announced.

In addition to the slain 25-year-old, another 11 Palestinians were wounded, including one who was listed in serious condition, the Hamas-run health ministry said, following the third straight day of rioting on the border.

Palestinian demonstrators clash with Israeli soldiers at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, on September 19, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Violence has surged across the region over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops in the West Bank, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the beginning of the year have left 27 civilians and three soldiers dead, and several others seriously wounded.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 185 West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians have been killed during the same period — the majority during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.

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