Israeli forces raid Jenin, surround Ibn Sina hospital in occupied West Bank

At least three killed in a drone strike on Jenin refugee camp as dozens of Israeli tanks pushed into the city.

Israeli military vehicles move through a street after Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta
Israeli military vehicles move through a street after Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 17, 2023 [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

A number of hospitals were surrounded and at least three people killed as Israeli forces launched a major raid on Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

The attacks, launched overnight and lasting into Friday, also left at least 14 others injured, according to Palestinian sources. The raid ended after several hours.

A drone strike on the Jenin refugee camp killed at least three people, the Palestinian ambulance service said, but the Israeli army said five were killed. Air strikes have become more regular in the West Bank as the war in Gaza rages.

Emergency services were prevented by Israeli forces from reaching the injured, potentially placing lives at risk, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

From about 10.30pm on Thursday, the Israeli army pushed at least 80 military vehicles into the city of Jenin, raiding Palestinian homes and detaining several people. There were reports of violent clashes.

“Dozens of armoured vehicles turned up, with bulldozers as well, damaging cars, damaging the roads,” reported Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat from occupied East Jerusalem. The raid lasted for about eight hours.

At least four hospitals were surrounded by Israeli soldiers, including the Ibn Sina Hospital.

“Israeli forces turned up at Ibn Sina Hospital, one of the biggest in the occupied West Bank. They turned up in a raid where they asked medical staff to put their hands up and evacuate the hospital,” Khairat said.

A number of doctors from the hospital refused to comply and evacuate; two paramedics were arrested, she added.

INTERACTIVE_Checkpoints in West Bank
(Al Jazeera)

“It is important to note that this happened in Jenin refugee camp where clashes have been intense almost daily … But the nature of this particular raid is quite incredible, really. Not just it being a hospital but the way the Israeli forces are coming in,” Khairat continued.

The Israeli military said that it had exchanged fire with Palestinian fighters, who then used ambulances to flee towards Ibn Sina Hospital “in order to hide there”. One Palestinian fighter was arrested at the entrance of the medical facility, the army said.

Tensions have been high across the West Bank since Israel launched its war on Hamas on October 7, which has killed at least 11,500 people in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces arrested 47 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, the Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Detainees Affairs said on Friday. Twenty-six of the arrests were in Nelin, west of Ramallah.

At a checkpoint north of Hebron, there was a shootout between Palestinian fighters and Israeli troops on Friday, in which two Palestinians were killed, said Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi, reporting from Ramallah.

On Thursday, three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers after opening fire at another checkpoint in the West Bank. One Israeli soldier was killed in that attack, according to Israeli officials.

Basravi said such attacks using small arms and explosives have increased in recent weeks amid mounting anger over civilian deaths in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank.

“As Israel continues to turn up the heat, turn up the pressure on Palestinian communities, people are beginning to push back,” he said.

Since October 7, 203 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids in the West Bank.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies