Israeli Forces, Palestinians Exchange Fire in Jenin Area for Second Day

The IDF says it carried out arrests around Jenin in the West Bank, pursuing a terror cell that infiltrated Israel

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Israeli soldiers run during a raid in Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in March
Israeli soldiers run during a raid in Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in MarchCredit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/ REUTERS
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Israeli forces and Palestinians exchanged fire on Sunday during a raid in the town of Yabad, near Jenin, in the second consecutive day that troops have entered a gun battle with militants in the area.

The Red Crescent reported six people were wounded and treated in Yabad, one of whom sustained a gunshot wound to the back and was evacuated to a hospital in Jenin. There were no reports of injuries on the Israeli side.

According to the IDF spokesperson, 20 Palestinians were arrested in the operation, which pursued a terror cell that had infiltrated Israeli territory. The military operation was focussed on Yabad, Jenin and the Nur Shams refugee camp near the city of Tulkarm.

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The spokesperson said that the army chased members of a terrorist cell which infiltrated Israeli territory through the security fence. The cell dropped weapons off near the seam line on Saturday and managed to escape back into the occupied territories.

"We will get members of this cell and anyone who dares to hurt Israeli citizens. However, the field of protection is not hermetic, there is no 100 percent, we need to continue reinforcing the region with soldiers and technological means." the spokesperson said.

Concurrently, Palestinians rioted at the site of Joseph's Tomb, a holy Jewish site at the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus. Reports say that some 100 Palestinians arrived at the site, torched the compound and shattered parts of the tomb.

The IDF spokesperson said that Palestinian forces arrived at the scene and removed the rioters, but that no further details are available at this time.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz denounced the incident, which he called "a stark violation of freedom of worship in one of the holiest sites for any Jew." Gantz said that Israel will repair the damages to the site as soon as possible and added that he notified the Palestinian authority that security reinforcement is expected on its part as well.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also condemned the "outrageous" incident: "Desecrating holy sites is a strike at the heart of the people ... It is an offense not only against the holy site, but against the deepest sensitivities of the Jewish people. We will bring the aggressors to justice and rehabilitate Joseph's tomb. I'm calling for everyone to maintain peace and calm."

On Saturday a Palestinian militant was killed and at least a dozen others were wounded in an exchange of fire with Israeli military forces who came to raid the home of Raad Hazem, who carried out a deadly attack in central Tel Aviv on Thursday.

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