Palestinian health officials report that six Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed by Israeli forces during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp.
Following the use of explosives by Palestinian militants against troop carriers, an Israeli helicopter launched missiles. It signifies a significant escalation of combat as frequent raids continue in the occupied West Bank city.
The Israeli military stated that it had to conduct a "logistical operation under fire" in order to evacuate a number of stranded vehicles. According to the army, seven Israeli soldiers and border police officers were wounded, three of them moderately.
The last time the Israeli military employed attack helicopters in the West Bank was potentially at the height of the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, two decades ago. According to reports, the helicopter fired upon militants on the ground as Israeli forces attempted to extract personnel. One resident told local media that they cannot leave the house as it's a true war and Apache aircraft fly directly overhead.
The Palestinian Authority referred to the raid as "Israeli aggression against Jenin, which constitutes a grave and dangerous escalation that must cease."
Israel has intensified its military search, arrest, and home demolition raids into Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank over the past 18 months, in response to a sharp increase in Palestinian attacks against Israelis, with casualty rates on both sides reaching levels not seen in many years.
Before dawn on Monday, Israeli troops infiltrated a neighborhood on the outskirts of Jenin's densely populated urban refugee camp, reportedly targeting the family house of a militant imprisoned by Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) referred to a "massive exchange of fire" between their forces and Palestinian militants.Videos depicted an explosion destroying an armored military transport while gunfire rang out.
Richard Hecht, stated that the IDF were hauling in heavy equipment in an effort to extract the vehicles as gunfire exchanges with militants continued. He added that personnel who had been inside the aircraft carrier had been transferred to other armored vehicles.
The Palestinian health ministry reported that five males and a 15-year-old boy, Ahmed Yousef Saqr, were killed in the attack. The fifth victim succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society accused the Israeli military of preventing medical teams from reaching casualties. The operation is further evidence that US-led efforts to reduce tensions in the West Bank have failed.
Officials intended to reduce the intensity of Israeli military operations and force the Palestinian Authority to regain control in Jenin and Nablus, where a new generation of militants has taken over. The Palestinian Authority's minister of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, stated that the occupation forces are conducting an "open and brutal war" against the Palestinian people. He demanded that the Palestinian leadership make "unprecedented decisions" but did not elaborate.
In a separate development, the United States stated that it was deeply troubled by new Israeli plans to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank and to appoint Bezalel Smotrich, a hardline pro-settler minister, to oversee future planning there.
The US Department of State stated that Israel's actions violated prior commitments made to the Biden administration, while Palestinian leaders condemned the new measures and called for international intervention.