Israeli troops leave Jenin after 40-hour raid; 8 gunmen reported among 12 dead

Military says operation targeted Hamas, Islamic Jihad terrorists and infrastructure; eight of the dead claimed by terror groups as their gunmen; PA says surgeon, teacher killed

Gunmen march as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some draped in Islamic Jihad terrorist group flags, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Gunmen march as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some draped in Islamic Jihad terrorist group flags, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Israeli soldiers pulled out of Jenin early Thursday after a raid that lasted over 40 hours in the northern West Bank city, the military and local Palestinian health authorities said.

Troops withdrew from the city early Thursday, a military spokesperson told The Times of Israel, after carrying out raids in the city’s refugee camp and exchanging fire with masked gunmen in a nearby neighborhood in the city center.

The Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday that it had launched the operation following “intelligence information from the Shin Bet indicating the activity of armed terrorists affiliated with the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organizations, and the presence of many terror infrastructures in the area.”

Later Tuesday, the IDF said that amid the raid, troops had demolished the home of Ahmed Barakat, a Palestinian terrorist involved in the killing of Israeli civilian Meir Tamari in a shooting attack near the settlement of Hermesh in May 2023.

Barakat was killed in a drone strike in March.

On Wednesday, the IDF said troops had “exchanged fire with armed men and killed a number of terrorists, including two terrorists who threw explosives at the forces.”

And in a statement on Thursday, the IDF reported that in the midst of the raid, troops identified an armed squad shooting in their direction, and pursued them to a hospital compound where they sought refuge.

The gunmen abandoned their vehicles, inside of which soldiers found six weapons as well as ammunition, the IDF said, attaching what it said was a video of the events.

Palestinians say 12 dead, 25 wounded

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said Israeli forces had killed 12 people during the raid in Jenin.

AP reported that eight of the dead were claimed by Hamas and other terror groups as their gunmen.

The IDF said it had only opened fire at gunmen and Palestinians hurling explosive devices at troops.

The official PA news agency WAFA and medical charity Doctors Without Borders reported that surgeon Usaeed Jabareen, from Jenin’s Khalil Suleiman government hospital, was among those killed on Tuesday.

An elderly Palestinian man walks past debris in the aftermath of a raid by Israeli forces in Jenin in the West Bank on May 23, 2024. (Zain JAAFAR / AFP)

An AFP correspondent reported seeing five bodies at the hospital morgue, including Jabareen’s.

A schoolteacher, Allam Jaradat, and a student were also among the dead, WAFA said, quoting hospital director Wissam Bakr.

Several of the bodies of those killed were draped in flags and carried among crowds of Palestinians through the streets as gunfire rang out.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli raid, as did Hamas, the terror organization against which Israel is waging war in Gaza, and which also has a significant presence in the West Bank.

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa warned in a statement Wednesday of the dangers of “Israeli military escalation and settlers attacks in the West Bank.”

Palestinian mourners and gunmen attend a group funeral of people killed in a raid by Israeli forces, in Jenin, in the West Bank on May 23, 2024. (Photo by Zain JAAFAR / AFP)

Jenin is widely seen as a hotbed of terrorist activity, and the IDF regularly carries out operations there.

On May 17, a rare Israeli airstrike in Jenin targeted a command room belonging to a local terror network and killed another terrorist involved in the murder of Meir Tamari, according to the military.

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 PA health ministry, more than 510 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

Based on military estimates, the vast majority of those killed since October 7 were shot during clashes amid arrest raids.

Most Popular
read more: