IDF operates in Jenin for first time since major operation a month ago

Troops detain two wanted Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in northern West Bank city, after four-week lull

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early July 30, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early July 30, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli forces operated in Jenin on Monday morning, for the first time since a major operation was carried out in the northern West Bank city some four weeks ago.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops and Border Police officers entered Jenin to detain two wanted Palestinians affiliated with the Hamas terror group.

During the raid, Palestinian gunmen opened fire in the area, the IDF said, adding that an engineering vehicle broke down following a technical malfunction. The vehicle was later extracted.

In footage published by Palestinian media outlets, gunfire could be heard across the city.

The official Palestinian Authority news agency, Wafa, named the two detained men as Fathi al-Atoum and Rabih as-Sanouri. It said al-Atoum had been previously arrested by Israel, spending a total of nine years in Israeli jails, before his most recent release last month.

There were no reports of injuries in the raid.

The IDF said troops detained ten more wanted Palestinians during raids in other areas of the West Bank early Monday, with violence in some areas.

The IDF last entered Jenin in early July for a major two-day incursion targeting a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, as well as other smaller armed groups in the city and refugee camp.

During the campaign, involving over 1,000 ground troops and the air force, the IDF said forces located and demolished at least eight weapon storage sites, six explosives labs with hundreds of primed devices, three war rooms used by Palestinian gunmen to observe Israeli forces, and other “terror infrastructure.”

Palestinian health officials said 12 people were killed and at least 100 were wounded during Israeli airstrikes and in clashes with Israeli forces between July 3 and 5.

According to the IDF, all of the slain Palestinians were involved in the fighting, but there were some noncombatants among the wounded.

One soldier was killed as troops began to withdraw from Jenin, although the IDF suspected he may have been killed by so-called “friendly fire.”

Tensions have remained high in the West Bank, with the military carrying out near-nightly raids amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have killed 25 people since the beginning of the year.

According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 160 West Bank Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year — most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances.

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