PA health ministry says 8 others wounded in airstrike

IDF: Terrorist involved in 2023 murder of Israeli killed in rare West Bank airstrike

Military says members of Islamic Jihad commander’s network planned imminent attacks; jets, helicopters targeted building used as ‘operational war room’ by Jenin terror network

Palestinians look at the damage following an Israeli airstrike in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians look at the damage following an Israeli airstrike in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

An Israeli airstrike in the West Bank city of Jenin late Friday night targeted a command room belonging to a local terror network and killed a terrorist behind the murder of an Israeli in May 2023, according to a statement from the military and the Shin Bet early Saturday.

Dozens of drone strikes have been carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank — largely amid clashes — since October 7, but Friday’s attack, carried out by a fighter jet, was a rare occurrence in the territory.

The man killed was Islam Khamayseh, who the IDF said was wanted over his involvement in a series of terror attacks, including a shooting near the settlement of Hermesh in which Meir Tamari was killed, and another attack in the area in June 2023 that wounded four soldiers and one civilian.

Fighter jets and attack helicopters targeted a building used as an “operational war room” by Jenin’s terror network, the statement said, adding that several gunmen were gathered at the command room when it was struck, including those involved in several shooting attacks in the Jenin area.

Members of the network planned additional attacks in the near future, the statement said, while also publishing footage of the airstrike.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said that eight others who were wounded in the strike were in stable condition and receiving treatment at hospitals.

An undated photo of Meir Tamari, who was killed in a West Bank shooting attack on May 30, 2023. (Courtesy)

Khamayseh was eulogized in posts on social media as a Jenin battalion commander in the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.

Videos posted late Friday and early Saturday showed crowds of Palestinian men, some armed, walking the streets of Jenin as part of a funeral march for Khamayseh.

The military said the targeted site was “a dangerous terrorist infrastructure,” and the airstrike “was carried out to remove an imminent threat posed by the terrorists who were involved in advancing terror attacks in the area of Jenin and Israeli territory.”

The IDF has intensified its near-daily raids across the West Bank in the aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 attack, in operations aimed at dismantling Palestinian terror groups.

Since October 7, troops have arrested some 4,000 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,700 affiliated with Hamas. According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, more than 490 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

An IDF fighter jet strike is seen in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, May 17, 2024. (Screen capture/X)

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.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

Most Popular
read more: