Deadly Jenin raid continues after seven Palestinians killed

Clashes involving Israeli forces were reported throughout the West Bank on Tuesday night, including in the Palestinian capital Ramallah

An Israeli military vehicle in the Jenin refugee camp, long considered one of the most significant militant heartlands in the West Bank. EPA
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Israel continued its deadly raid on the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning, after a bloody day in which seven Palestinians were killed and up to 100 arrested.

The Israeli attack was launched early on Tuesday and involved a drone strike that killed five people, a tactic that Israel rarely uses in the West Bank although it has become more common.

Seven people have been killed in Jenin since this latest operation began on Tuesday morning including a 13-year-old boy whose ambulance was blocked by Israeli forces, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The prolonged raid adds to mounting fears that the war in Gaza since Hamas’s deadly assault on southern Israel on October 7 could spill over into the West Bank, where tensions have spiralled over the past two months.

A huge increase in Israeli settler violence against Palestinians, a ban on West Bank workers crossing into Israel to earn money, and a crippling economic lockdown in which Israeli checkpoints and curfews have forced businesses to shut are major reasons behind the region's instability.

The director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Jenin, Mahmoud Al Saadi, said on Wednesday that the city is surrounded by Israeli forces on all sides.

The movement of ambulances is dependent on prior co-ordination with the Israeli military.

“Entry to the Jenin camp is very difficult, because there is a large number of Israeli troops and the roads and infrastructure have been severely damaged, made even worse with the rain today,” Mr Al Saadi added.

Israel’s military said in a statement that it was operating "to expose explosive devices planted under roads to attack the security forces”.

The operation has raised concerns among Palestinians because it is taking place throughout the city of Jenin.

Israeli operations normally focus only on the city's refugee camp, which is a long-standing centre of Palestinian militancy in the West Bank.

Jenin’s densely populated refugee camp, where about 14,000 people live, has been raided countless times this year. Armed groups are present alongside the residents.

The rest of the city is a large commercial centre that attracts shoppers from throughout the West Bank and Israel. commerce has been hit hard by the Gaza war and the accompanying checkpoint closures and safety concerns.

Updated: December 13, 2023, 9:30 AM