Two Palestinians, one of them a teacher, killed by IDF fire during clash in Jenin

Second fatality identified as Adham Jabareen, 28, a commander in Islamic Jihad; military seizes weapons, explosive materials in refugee camp

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 19, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 19, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin early Thursday morning, with Palestinian health officials reporting at least two killed, one of them a teacher.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops came under “massive gunfire” as they entered the Jenin refugee camp to arrest wanted Palestinians. The IDF said the forces returned fire at the gunmen and at Palestinians hurling explosive devices.

The fatalities were named by the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry as Adham Jabareen, 28, and Jawad Bawaqta, 57.

Jabareen was identified as a commander in a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, while Bawaqta was a teacher. The terror group said Bawaqta was providing Jabareen first aid after he was hit during the gun battle.

The Jenin wing of  PIJ claimed to have targeted Israeli troops in the city with gunfire and explosives.

The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said two soldiers were lightly hurt after their jeep was targeted with an IED during the raid. One was taken to a hospital, while the other did not require further treatment, the service said. The IDF said the hospitalized soldier’s family was notified.

The IDF said troops seized several firearms, weapon parts, and explosive materials in the camp during the raid, and arrested one person suspected of involvement in terror activities.

Palestinian media said troops sought to arrest a senior PIJ member in the camp, Khaled Abu Zina, although he was not home at the time, and instead two of his sons were detained.

The IDF said nine more Palestinians were arrested elsewhere across the West Bank overnight. They were all taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

Weapons seized by IDF troops during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, early January 19, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The clashes came amid an ongoing Israeli anti-terror offensive, mostly focused on the northern West Bank, to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 17 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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