ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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UN Security Council to hold emergency meet following lethal Jenin sweep

Urgent closed-door session Friday requested by UAE, China and France as tensions snowball following IDF raid on northern West Bank city that left nine Palestinians dead

Israeli forces fire tear gas to disperse Palestinian demonstrators during clashes near Ramallah on January 26, 2023. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)
Israeli forces fire tear gas to disperse Palestinian demonstrators during clashes near Ramallah on January 26, 2023. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)

The UN Security Council will convene for an emergency session on Friday afternoon to discuss an Israeli raid in Jenin in which nine Palestinians were killed, two diplomats told The Times of Israel Thursday.

The meeting will be the second emergency session of the Security Council to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore in his hardline right-wing government late last month.

Security Council members will receive a briefing from Mideast peace process envoy Tor Wennesland, said the diplomats, who represent countries on the panel.

The meeting was requested by the UAE, which is the Arab League’s representative on the council, as well as China and France, according to the diplomats.

Unlike the session earlier this month that was to discuss far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to Jerusalem’s flashpoint Temple Mount, Friday’s session will be held behind closed doors.

The Thursday morning raid has sent regional tensions skyward, with the Israeli military girding for the possibility of a wider conflagration.

Palestinians carry the bodies of four of the 9 reported victims killed during an Israeli raid on the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp, during their funeral procession in Jenin, January 26, 2023. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

The Palestinian Authority announced that it would suspend security coordination with Israel following the raid and late Thursday two rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, following threats to retaliate from the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday’s operation was necessary to quash a credible terror threat.

The IDF said troops entered the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Thursday to foil imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had primed explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces following an army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, January 26, 2023. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Nine Palestinians were killed, including several members of the terror cell, other gunmen and at least one uninvolved civilian; another 20 were wounded in the clashes that ensued.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf told reporters in a phone briefing that she and several of her colleagues have been “working the phones” since early Thursday morning, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian officials in an effort to restore calm.

Asked to address the possibility that the PA would pursue action at the UN against Israel over Thursday’s raid, Leaf responded, “We don’t think it makes sense to be going to international fora at this point. This is exactly the point at which they need to engage with each other and that will be the nature of our discussions with both sets of officials.”

In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said the premier told military brass that “Israel is not looking to escalate, but instructed the security forces to prepare for any scenario in the various arenas to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens.”

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