Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded 20 during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian officials said an elderly woman was among the dead in the latest raid since Israel intensified such operations last year.
An Israeli army statement said its forces conducted a counterterrorism raid to apprehend “a terror squad” belonging to the Islamic Jihad armed group.
Islamic Jihad confirmed battling Israeli forces as they carried out the unusually deep raid into Jenin’s refugee camp. The death toll – the highest in Jenin in years – drew a warning from the group that its truce with Israel, called after a brief exchange of fire across Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip last year, could be in danger.
During the raid, local youths threw rocks at army vehicles from the entrances to the camp’s cramped alleyways. As the Israeli troops withdrew and the smoke and tear gas cleared, civilians streamed into the camp to check on casualties. A two-storey building that had been the focus of the fighting was heavily damaged.
There were no Israeli casualties.
Medics said the situation in the refugee camp was critical and Israeli forces were stopping ambulances from reaching people who were wounded.
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during raids in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in January has risen to at least 29 people, including five minors. At least 15 of those killed were from Jenin. More than 170 Palestinians were killed in such raids in 2022, many of them civilians.