The raid on the teeming refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin erupted into the worst day in the West Bank in years, with gunshots ringing through the streets and smoke billowing from burning street barricades.
Ten Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Thursday, Jan. 26. Nine of them were slain in a raid that the Israeli military termed a "counterterrorism operation," according to officials in the occupied region.
Before the Israeli soldiers retreated in the middle of the morning, the Palestinian health ministry reported 20 injuries and nine fatalities from the fighting, including one lady. As stated by the military, Israeli forces came under fire while conducting a "counterterrorism operation to apprehend an Islamic Jihad terror squad" and killed a number of insurgents.
The United Nations has not seen such a high death toll in a single operation in the West Bank since its records began in 2005. Following that, Israeli forces shot and killed a 10th Palestinian in Al-Ram, close to Ramallah, based on the Palestinian Health Ministry.
As stated by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, he was shot during altercations that broke out during a demonstration against the murders in Jenin. The Palestinian Authority announced it was halting security coordination with Israel in response to the violence, a decision that was criticized by the U.S.
As claimed by the military, the operation was directed at Islamic Jihad members who were reportedly responsible for attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians and who, as per Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, was preparing "to conduct a terror attack in Israel".
Israeli forces also shot two Palestinians who were "fleeing the scene," in an army statement, while three Palestinians were injured during a shootout. According to the army, more Palestinians were injured after opening fire on Israeli troops, and a sixth suspect was also shot by Israeli forces inside a structure.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories the next week, when he will advocate for an "end to the cycle of violence" Washington stated on Thursday. Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia-all regional allies of the United States-have all vehemently denounced the fatal Israeli incursion. The rising death toll comes after the UN's bloodiest year ever for the Palestinian territories.
The UN's Tor Wennesland expressed his deep worry and sadness over the violence that has continued in the occupied West Bank. Following the announcement of three days of mourning by the Palestinian presidency, large crowds attended funerals in Jenin. It alleged that the operation on Jenin on Thursday was taking place "under international silence."