Among the dead was “an old woman” and about twenty people were injured, four seriously, during this military operation in the refugee camp of this city in the north of the occupied West Bank, reported the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The Palestinian Authority described the events as a “massacre” and announced that it stops cooperating on security with Israel.
The United States regretted this decision by the body led by Mahmud Abas: “We do not believe that it is the good decision at this time.”
Since the beginning of this year, up to 30 Palestinians, civilians or members of armed groups, have lost their lives in violence with Israeli forces or civilians.
An Israeli military spokesman said the army had carried out “an anti-terrorist operation” against the armed organization Islamic Jihad, implicated in several anti-Israel attacks.
Before withdrawing, the Israeli forces “deliberately threw tear gas grenades” at the pediatric ward of a Jenin hospital, which “caused some children to suffocate,” denounced the Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Al Kaila.
“No one deliberately fired tear gas at a hospital (…), but the operation was carried out not far from a hospital and it is possible that tear gas entered through an open window,” an Israeli army spokesman told AFP, rejecting Palestinian accusations.
In addition, the Israeli security forces killed another Palestinian on Thursday in Al Ram, near Jerusalem. The circumstances of this death were not specified.
During the raid on Jenin, Israeli soldiers fired at several “terrorists” during the firefight, the army said. And they entered a building where there were “suspects,” he added.
“The resistance is everywhere and is prepared for the next confrontation in case the fascist (Israeli) government and its criminal army continue to attack our people, our land and our holy places,” said Tariq Salmi, spokesman for Islamic Jihad. .
At the end of the morning, the emergency services were working among the rubble, in the Jenin camp, where the walls of several buildings were blackened by the fires, an AFP photographer found.
One of the victims was called Majeda Obeid, a 61-year-old woman, and her daughter explained to AFP how she lost her life during the Israeli military operation.
“When he finished praying, he looked out the window for a moment and then he was hit in the neck with a bullet. His body fell against the wall and then onto the ground,” Kefiyat Obeid, 26, said.
The Jenin camp, established in 1953, is like a city within a city and is home to about 20,000 refugees, according to UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees.
In May 2022, Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, star of Al Jazeera television, was killed while covering an Israeli raid on the site.
The Israeli army, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, carries out operations almost daily in that Palestinian territory, particularly in the north in the Jenin and Nablus sectors, strongholds of armed Palestinian groups.
“The Israeli army destroys everything and shoots at everything that moves,” said the deputy governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu Al Rub, adding that the inhabitants live “in a state of war.”
According to the Red Cross, the evacuation of many wounded was difficult, Minister Al Kaila said.
The Palestinian official called for an “emergency meeting” to be held with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“What is happening in Jenin and in its countryside is a massacre perpetrated by the Israeli occupation government,” said Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas.
The secretary general of the Arab League denounced a “bloody massacre” perpetrated “under the direct orders of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu”, who retook the reins of the Hebrew state at the end of last year.
The US State Department announced Thursday that the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, will travel next week to Israel and the West Bank to “reduce tensions” between the two sides.