Israel bombs Gaza following Jenin assault

Jets strike Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip after rockets are fired towards southern Israel following Israeli offensive in Jenin.

A person wears a gas mask during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces amid an Israeli military operation, in Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
A person wears a gas mask amid an Israeli military operation, in Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

Israeli fighter jets have struck the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the besieged enclave after Israel ended a large-scale offensive in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli attack on Wednesday hit an underground weapons manufacturing facility belonging to Hamas, the Palestinian group running the Strip. No casualties were reported.

It came after Israel said it had shot down five rockets fired towards southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said on Wednesday its forces had withdrawn from Jenin ending a two-day ground and air offensive that killed at least 12 Palestinians and wounded about 100 others.

Residents who were forced to flee Jenin’s refugee camp where the raid took place began returning overnight on Wednesday to survey their destroyed homes and belongings. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it evacuated 500 families from the camp, a total of about 3,000 people.

Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank celebrated the withdrawal of the Israeli forces.

The Jenin refugee camp houses thousands of Palestinians who are descendants of people dispossessed when Israel was created in 1948.

Israel claimed its attack, which began on Monday, was to target fighters in Jenin, but aid groups said they treated wounded people of all ages.

The raid drew condemnation from Iran, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab League, among others.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “deep concern” about the assault on Jenin and will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss it.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies