Nine Palestinians killed as IDF foil Jenin terror plot

Israeli troops said they were tipped off about an Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror cell


EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A rescuer is pictured in front of a building damaged and burned by Israeli troops during a raid on the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp, on January 26, 2023. - An Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp today killed 9 Palestinians including an elderly woman, Palestinian officials said, also accusing the army of using tear gas inside a hospital.Israel's army declined to comment when asked by AFP about the health minister's tear gas allegation. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Nine Palestinians have been killed and several more wounded during clashes between the Israel Defence Forces and gunmen in Jenin on Thursday. 

In a statement, the IDF said its troops entered a refugee camp in the Northern West Bank city of Jenin to foil an imminent attack being planned by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror organisation.

A senior IDF officer told The Times of Israel that the terror cell was “a ticking time bomb. If we didn’t act, they would have”.

They said a trio of PIJ members was killed and a fourth arrested.

“The wanted men, PIJ operatives, have been involved in recent extensive terror activity, and are suspected of carrying out several shooting attacks against IDF forces, and planning other significant attacks,” the IDF announced.

The military also alleged that the three-hour raid against the PIJ squad's hideout in the refugee camp began after the Shin Bet security agency passed on “accurate intelligence” to the army.

They said that shoulder-launched missiles were used to flush the terror cell out of their apartment and that no Israeli soldiers were injured in the incident despite other Palestinian gunmen opening fire.

Videos shared by Palestinian media sources appear to show gunfire and explosions in the West Bank city.

PIJ’s Jenin wing admitted that its members had opened fire on Israeli soldiers and launched several explosives in the locality, damaging multiple IDF vehicles.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Health Ministry said nine Palestinians were killed and others wounded in the morning raid.

The incident marked the West Bank’s deadliest raid in years, with fatalities including a 60-year-old woman named Magda Obaid. 

An IDF source said an investigation had been launched into Ms Obaid’s death.

Several male fatalities were identified, including Moatassem Abu al-Hassan, Abdullah Marwan al-Ghoul, 26-year-old Izzidin Yassin Salahat, and 24-year-old Saeb Essam Mahmoud Azriqi. 

Palestinian media sources subsequently identified Salahat as an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group member. The organisation is a member of the PA’s security services and loosely aligned with the PA’s ruling Fatah faction.

A spokesperson for PA President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “carrying out a massacre in Jenin amid international silence.”

While Health Minister Mai al-Kaila complained that paramedics had been struggling to reach wounded people due to the violence. He alleged that the IDF had directed tear gas at a hospital paediatric ward, with video footage claiming that women had been from the hospital showing women moving children into the corridors.

The IDF claimed the riot control agent had probably entered the hospital due to wafting in from nearby action.

In its official 2022 report published in December, the IDF revealed a sharp uptick in West Bank violence. The data showed 285 recorded Palestinian gun attacks were last year compared to just 61 similar incidents in 2021.

Israel has been experiencing a wave of terror since last Spring, with bombs, stabbings, and shooting attacks being met with dawn raids and arrests of militants in the West Bank, many in Jenin.

The IDF has killed 29 Palestinians since 1 January, many of whom were participating in attacks or clashes with forces, but some of whom were civilians.

In December the PIJ’s Gaza wing directed rockets toward Israel following the death of a pair of their members in a West Bank raid.

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