At least one Palestinian killed as IDF clashes with gunmen during raid in Jenin

Military probes doctor hit by gunfire in clash; footage shows armed men opening fire from behind ambulance; Hamas member planning shooting attacks arrested

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

A Palestinian gunman opens fire during clashes with Israeli troops in the Jenin refugee camp, October 14, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
A Palestinian gunman opens fire during clashes with Israeli troops in the Jenin refugee camp, October 14, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

At least one Palestinian was killed as Israeli troops clashed with gunmen on Friday morning during a raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops operated in the area to arrest a wanted Palestinian, a member of the Hamas terror group, who was responsible for a series of recent shooting attacks in the West Bank and planned further attacks.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry initially said two people were killed and several others hurt in the clashes. The men were identified by Palestinian media as Mateen Debaya, 25, and a doctor, Abdullah Abu Tin.

But in a later statement, the ministry said one of the men was listed in critical condition and had not died. Palestinian media said the critically wounded man was Abu Tin.

The Israeli military was probing if the doctor was possibly hit by Palestinian fire, and not by Israeli troops, or if he had participated in shooting at troops and was therefore targeted.

Footage showed a Palestinian gunman opening fire from behind a wall, as he takes cover near an ambulance.

Extensive gunshots could be heard in footage of the gun battles. A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for shooting at troops in the area, and said Debaya was a member.

“During the operation in Jenin, explosives were thrown and armed Palestinians fired massive volleys of gunfire at the forces,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

“The forces fired accurate shots at armed men identified in the area and a hit was identified,” the IDF said.

Regarding the doctor, the military said: “We emphasize that the presence of uninvolved civilians in combat areas poses a life-threatening danger.”

The IDF and Border Police said troops detained Dia’ Salama, 24, in the Jenin refugee camp. Israeli officials identified Salama as a member of Hamas, but Palestinian media reports said he was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

There was no immediate confirmation by either terror group of Salama’s affiliation.

Salama, who was allegedly responsible for numerous shooting attacks against Israeli troops and civilians in the West Bank in recent weeks, was arrested with an M-16 assault rifle.

Another rifle and other military equipment were seized at Salama’s home, officials said.

Weapons and military equipment seized from a wanted Palestinian in the Jenin refugee camp, October 14, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The military added that another two wanted Palestinians were detained in the Jenin area.

In Nablus, troops arrested two wanted Palestinians, allegedly behind shooting attacks against troops and civilians during a recent military escort of Jewish worshippers to Joseph’s Tomb on the outskirts of the city.

A handgun was seized during the raid in Nablus, the IDF said.

Another three wanted Palestinians were detained during overnight raids in other areas of the West Bank.

No Israeli troops were reported injured in the clashes in Jenin and other operations across the West Bank.

Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.

Jenin has been a focal point of recent violence in the West Bank, which has seen a surge in attacks against Israeli security forces, and some of the terrorists who committed attacks earlier this year came from the city and its environs.

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, October 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations this year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

On Friday morning, a Palestinian teenager seriously wounded after attacking a bus carrying Israeli soldiers in the Jordan Valley last month died of his wounds.

Muhammad Turkman and his relative were seriously injured after a car they were driving in caught on fire following an attempt to set fire to the bus.

The pair also shot at the bus, seriously injuring a soldier and a civilian bus driver, as well as five other soldiers who were lightly hurt.

Turkman and his relative jumped out of the burning car and were arrested by troops. A third Palestinian, the father and uncle of the pair, managed to flee the scene and was still on the lam more than a month after the attack.

Israeli security forces stand next to a burnt car allegedly used by the suspects who carried out a shooting attack on a bus in the Jordan Valley, September 4, 2022. (Flash90)

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly attacked military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

On Tuesday, an Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting attack while securing a settler march in the northern West Bank, days after another soldier was shot dead at a checkpoint near East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp.

The rising West Bank violence has also spread to Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police and civilians over the past two nights.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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