Deadly clashes in Jenin: 7 IDF soldiers wounded; 5 terrorists killed, dozens injured

It was the first Israeli airstrike in Judea and Samaria since the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

By JNS and World Israel News Staff

Israeli helicopters struck targets in the Jenin area on Monday morning after a deadly gun battle erupted during an Israeli counter-terror raid in the city.

The strikes came after a number of Palestinian gunmen were reportedly killed – according to initial reports, three were dead – and at least five Israeli soldiers wounded during clashes that erupted during an Israeli counter-terror operation in the city. Dozens more Palestinians were injured.

Later in the day, the Palestinian Health Ministry updated the number of dead Palestinians to five.

“Combat helicopters fired in the area of ​​​​the city of Jenin after identifying armed men,” the IDF said in a statement.

Israeli troops entered the city on Monday morning to arrest two wanted terrorists. During the raid, the Israeli forces came under “massive” Palestinian fire, according to the IDF. Three Palestinian gunmen were killed in the ensuing battle, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The IDF did not confirm the casualties, saying only that “hits were identified.”

The dead terrorists initially identified by Palestinian sources are Khaled Azaaza, 21; Ahmed Zakar, 15; and Kassam Abu Saria, 29.

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As Israeli forces withdrew from the city with the wanted individuals, a roadside bomb detonated next to one of the troops’ armored vehicles, wounding five, according to the IDF.

The number of wounded was later updated to seven.

The airstrikes, footage of which was circulating on social media, were intended as support for the rescue of the armored vehicles hit by the roadside bomb, according to Israeli media reports.

It was the first Israeli airstrike in Judea and Samaria since the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, Kan News noted.

Fighting was ongoing in the area as of Monday morning, according to the IDF.

“The heroic battle in Jenin is a natural continuation of the loyalty of our brave fighters to the leaders of the military activity in Gaza, headed by Tarek Izz al-Din (who was killed in the recent round of fighting – Abu Ali) and his comrades, the fighters, ” said a spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Telegram blogger Abu Ali Express reported. The PIJ claims that two of the casualties in Monday’s clashes, Qais Jabereen and Qasem Abu Sarieh, were fighters in its ranks.

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“This is yet another operation among many, that have been conducted by the IDF, Israel Security Agency and Border Police, during which our troops showed courage and professionalism in the face of heavy fire,” Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said in a statement.

“In fighting terrorism, we cannot compromise. We will continue to fight terrorism proactively. We will use all the tools at our disposal and strike terrorists wherever they may be.

“Terrorists will not find a safe haven – not in Jenin, not in Nablus and not in Gaza,” he said.