Nine Palestinians were killed, among them an elderly woman, and several were wounded during fierce clashes between Israeli troops and gunmen in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday morning, Palestinian health officials said.
In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said troops entered the Jenin refugee camp to foil imminent attack plans by a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
“This squad was a ticking time bomb. If we didn’t act, they would have,” a senior IDF officer told reporters.
“They may build, but I will throw down;
They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness,
And the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever.’ Malachi 1:4
“During an attempt to arrest them, the wanted men opened fire and were killed in an exchange of fire with our forces,” the IDF said. Three members of the PIJ cell were killed and a fourth was arrested, according to the military.
“The wanted men, PIJ operatives, have been involved in recent extensive terror activity, and are suspected of carrying out several shooting attacks against IDF forces, and planning other significant attacks,” it said.
The military said the raid against the cell’s hideout apartment in the camp was launched following “accurate intelligence” given to the army by the Shin Bet security agency.
Troops used shoulder-launched missiles and other explosives against the hideout, in a tactic known as “pressure cooker,” to try and flush out the wanted men, the officer said.
During the raid, other Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops, who returned fire, hitting some of them, the military added.