Israeli security forces have carried out a significant operation in the city of Jenin, resulting in the destruction of infrastructure and the elimination of a group of Hamas militants. This latest incident of heightened violence in the occupied West Bank has underscored the growing tensions in the region.
During the overnight raid that began on Thursday night and lasted approximately eight hours, Hamas confirmed that three of its fighters lost their lives. Israeli military officials, on the other hand, claimed that they had killed at least five militants. The clash highlights the volatile situation in the West Bank since the series of attacks launched by Hamas into southern Israel last month, which prompted a large-scale Israeli military offensive in Gaza.
The rising death toll in the West Bank signals concerns that the territory, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 war, may spiral into chaos amid the conflict in Gaza. The al-Quds Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, based in Jenin, reported engaging Israeli forces for several hours, employing intense gunfire and ambush tactics using explosives.
An Israeli military spokesperson stated that an armed “terrorist cell” that had fired at Israeli security forces was targeted by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) aircraft. The spokesperson further explained that additional militants who continued to pose a threat by firing and throwing explosive devices were neutralized.
Following the operation, Israeli troops intercepted vehicles and ambulances attempting to flee to Jenin’s Ibn Sina hospital, subsequently discovering M-16 rifles and ammunition during a search. Reports suggest that some hospital workers were ordered to exit the building, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society accuses the IDF of detaining and searching ambulance crews.
Last week, Israeli forces engaged in a prolonged battle with gunmen in Jenin, resulting in 14 casualties and marking one of the most intense clashes in the occupied West Bank in recent months. Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7th, at least 191 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, with up to 2,000 individuals detained amid a strict crackdown. Israeli officials claim that the arrests have successfully prevented several major attacks.
Furthermore, the prior attacks by Hamas last month caused the deaths of 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and left over 240 individuals held hostage. Palestinian civilians continue to face the brunt of Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza, with health authorities reporting over 11,500 confirmed deaths, including more than 4,700 children, due to Israeli bombardment and ground invasion.
A senior Israeli military officer reiterated last week that the West Bank is a “broad front” where significant Israeli forces are already deployed against Hamas. The officer emphasized that if necessary, the army would not hesitate to escalate its efforts.
In another incident, Israeli security forces shot and killed an attacker near Hebron after the individual opened fire on soldiers on Friday morning. Additionally, an Israeli soldier lost his life at a checkpoint on the West Bank’s route 60 on Thursday.
Addressing the situation, Israel’s national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, stated that Hamas must be dealt with in the West Bank in a manner similar to how Israel is handling Gaza. Ben-Gvir, who leads the far-right party Jewish Power, also argued that the Palestinian Authority holds similar views to Hamas and should face the same treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the current situation in the West Bank?
The West Bank is currently experiencing a surge in violence, with frequent clashes between Israeli security forces and Hamas militants. The tension has escalated following Hamas’ attacks on southern Israel and Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
How many Hamas militants were killed in the recent raid in Jenin?
While Hamas confirmed the deaths of three fighters, Israeli military officials claim to have killed at least five militants during the operation in Jenin.
What is the concern regarding the West Bank?
There is growing concern that the escalating violence in the West Bank, coupled with the conflict in Gaza, could lead to a situation spiraling out of control. The mounting death toll and extensive arrests in the West Bank have heightened these fears.
What is the Palestinian Red Crescent Society accusing the IDF of?
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has accused the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) of detaining and searching ambulance crews following the raid in Jenin.
How many casualties have there been in Gaza?
According to Gaza health authorities, more than 11,500 individuals have been confirmed killed as a result of the Israeli bombardment and ground invasion, including over 4,700 children.
What is the Israeli national security minister’s stance on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority?
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Israeli national security minister and leader of the far-right party Jewish Power, believes that both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should be dealt with in a similar manner, given their shared views and actions.
– [The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/04/israel-kills-hamas-militants-in-jenin-raid-as-violence-surges-in-west-bank)