Israel launches large-scale military strike on northern West Bank
The Israeli army launched a large-scale military strike early on Monday on the northern West Bank city of Jenin, according to eyewitnesses and the Israeli military.
Dozens of armored vehicles backed by drones and helicopters stormed the city and the refugee camp, said Palestinian eyewitnesses, adding that airstrikes were carried out during the exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli military said it struck a "joint operations center" which served as a command center for fighters from the Jenin Brigades, an armed unit comprised of fighters from different militant groups. It declined to specify whether Monday's strike also involved a drone.
Palestinian eyewitnesses said Israeli forces entered Jenin shortly after the airstrikes began, and armed clashes erupted between the soldiers and the Palestinian gunmen.
Israel Radio reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who held a meeting with Israeli security leaders on Sunday night, has been updated as the operation continued.
The Palestinian side on Sunday slammed Netanyahu for his policy of motivating Israeli settlers to commit more crimes against the Palestinians.
"Netanyahu's boast of killing large numbers of Palestinians since the formation of his government motivates settlers to commit more of their crimes against our people," said the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Since January, 24 people, most of them Israelis, have been killed in a series of attacks carried out by Palestinians, and more than 175 Palestinians, including children and women, were killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers, according to official figures.
(Cover: Protesters clash with Israeli troops after the arrest of Palestinians in the village of Orif, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, June 29, 2023. /CFP)