IDF says Jenin drone strike kills Islamic Jihad terrorist behind string of shootings

Yasser Hanoun struck in northern West Bank while ‘en route to carry out another attack,’ according to military; second operative also killed

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

People inspect a burned car in an Israeli strike in the West Bank city of Jenin overnight on February 22, 2024. (Mohammad Mansour/AFP)
People inspect a burned car in an Israeli strike in the West Bank city of Jenin overnight on February 22, 2024. (Mohammad Mansour/AFP)

The Israeli military carried out a drone strike against a vehicle in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday night targeting, according to security officials, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative on his way to carry out a terror attack.

The target was identified by the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency as Yasser Hanoun, a resident of Jenin, who was previously jailed by Israel for his involvement in Islamic Jihad activities.

A local wing of Islamic Jihad in Jenin confirmed Hanoun was a member and was killed in the Thursday night strike. In a separate statement, Islamic Jihad said another member, Said Jaradat, was also killed in the strike.

A joint statement from the IDF and Shin Bet said Hanoun was involved in a large number of shooting attacks in recent months — against IDF troops, army posts, Israeli settlements and towns over the Green Line.

Recent attacks allegedly carried out by Hanoun included gunfire at the northern kibbutz of Meirav, the settlement of Mevo Dotan, as well as the Salem and Jalamah checkpoints.

“The terrorist was eliminated while en route to carry out another shooting attack,” the IDF said.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said another 15 people were wounded in the strike on Hanoun’s vehicle in Jenin, including two in critical condition.

The IDF has recently ramped up airstrikes in the West Bank, most of them amid counter-terrorism raids, carrying out more than 30 since the beginning of the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military has also intensified its near-daily raids across the West Bank in the aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, in operations aimed at dismantling Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas.

Since October 7, Israeli troops have arrested more than 3,200 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,350 affiliated with Hamas, according to security authorities.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry says that more than 400 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during 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, that are still under investigation.

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