Israeli source: He was armed, directly involved in gunfire

Palestinian doctor, claimed as terror group member, dies in Jenin gun battle

Military says troops only targeted armed Palestinians in area; Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group claims Abdullah Abu Tin as member

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

Abdullah Abu Tin, a doctor and a reported member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is seen holding several assault rifles in an undated photo circulated online after his death on October 14, 2022. (Social media, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Abdullah Abu Tin, a doctor and a reported member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is seen holding several assault rifles in an undated photo circulated online after his death on October 14, 2022. (Social media, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A Palestinian doctor died after being wounded in a fierce gun battle between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Friday morning, which left another gunman dead.

An Israeli security source said Abdullah Abu Tin, the doctor, was armed and directly involved in the battle and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group claimed Abu Tin as a member.

In a poster announcing his death, the group said he died “in an armed clash” with Israeli forces “defending the homeland.” The poster showed him posing with five assault rifles.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, 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.

Amid the raid, armed Palestinians hurled explosives and “fired massive volleys of gunfire at the forces,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

A member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Mateen Debaya, 25, was killed during the clashes, Palestinian health officials and the terror group said.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry initially reported that the doctor, Abu Tin, was also killed in the clash, but then revised his condition to critical. He later died in the afternoon, the ministry said.

Abdullah Abu Tin, a doctor and a reported member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, is seen holding several assault rifles in a poster, during his funeral in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on October 14, 2022. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

The security source told Hebrew-language media that Abu Tin was directly involved in the gunfire toward troops, and was taken from the scene to a hospital while masked and armed with a rifle.

Posters produced by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades’ terror group, which is loosely tied to the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, showed Abu Tin holding several assault rifles.

A Telegram account thought to be tied to the group also published a brief statement saying Abu Tin “was martyred while fighting shoulder to shoulder with the resistance fighters.”

The IDF initially probed if Abu Tin was possibly hit by Palestinian fire, and not by Israeli troops, or if he had fired at soldiers himself and was therefore targeted.

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

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

Footage from the clashes showed a Palestinian gunman opening fire from behind a wall, as he took cover near an ambulance. It was not clear if Abu Tin was hurt during this exchange of fire.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for shooting at troops in the area.

Palestinian gunmen and mourners attend the funeral of Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Mateen Debaya who was killed during clashes with Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, October 14, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

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.

AP contributed to this report

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