Israeli troops kill 7 Palestinian gunmen and 2 civilians in clash in Jenin, Palestinians say

JENIN, West Bank, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Israeli commandos killed seven gunmen and two civilians in a raid on a burning town in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, sparking fears of further outbreaks after the most great death. toll in years of fighting.

The Palestinian Authority said it was ending its security coordination with Israel, which is widely credited with helping to maintain order in the West Bank and deter attacks on Israel. He froze cooperation several times in protest.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was not seeking to escalate the situation, although he ordered security forces «to be prepared for all scenarios in the various sectors».

UN and Arab mediators have been talking to Israeli and Palestinian factions to try to prevent the clash in Jenin, among areas of the West Bank that have seen increased Israeli operations, from triggering a wider confrontation.

The Israeli army said it sent special forces to Jenin to arrest members of the Islamic Jihad armed group suspected of carrying out and planning «multiple major terrorist attacks», shooting several of them after opening the fire.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank next week to discuss the situation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said more than 20 people had been injured in the Israeli counterterrorism operation and that it was «urgent that all parties defuse, prevent further loss of civilian life and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank.»

Islamic Jihad said two of its men died fighting the unusually deep raid on Jenin refugee camp, a militant stronghold. Four armed men killed were claimed by Hamas, another by an armed wing of the Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The other two dead were a civilian man and woman, local residents said.

«We consider that security coordination with the Israeli occupation government no longer exists for the time being,» the Palestinian leaders gathered to discuss Jenin said in a statement.

Barbara Leaf, the US Under Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said they were pushing to ease tensions and security coordination needed to be thorough and not cut.


The United Arab Emirates, China and France have asked the UN Security Council to meet behind closed doors on Friday over the violence, diplomats said.

During the three-hour standoff, gunfire echoed through the camp’s cramped alleyways, along with occasional explosions from improvised bombs set off by militants. Youths pelted army vehicles with stones. There were no Israeli casualties.

After the troops withdrew and the smoke and tear gas cleared, civilians who had kept away streamed into the camp to check on casualties. A two-story building that had been at the center of the fighting was heavily damaged.

Separately, a Palestinian was killed in a clash with Israeli security agents in the city of Ramallah, Palestinian health officials said. A spokesperson for the Israel Border Police was not available for comment on the report.

The violence has increased since a series of deadly attacks on Palestinian streets in Israel in March and April. The resulting diplomatic stalemate has helped rally Palestinian support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which refuse coexistence with Israel – where Netanyahu’s far-right new government includes members opposed to a Palestinian state.

An Islamic Jihad official told Reuters the group had asked international mediators to warn Israel that Jenin’s violence «could spread everywhere». Hamas deputy leader Saleh Al-Arouri said in a statement that an armed response «won’t take long.»

Tor Wennesland, a UN mediator, said on Twitter that he was «actively engaged with Israeli and Palestinian authorities to defuse tensions, restore calm and avoid further conflict».

Israeli officials have given no public indication that they are in truce talks. Saluting the Israeli forces during the Jenin raid, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said: “Any terrorist who tries to harm our personnel should know that their blood is lost.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 30 Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since January 1.

Writing by Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi, additional reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Christina Fincher, Toby Chopra, Andrew Heavens and Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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