05 July 2024

Israel carries out military operation around the West Bank city of Jenin

05 July 2024

Seven people have been killed during an Israeli military operation in the area of the West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian authorities said.

The Israeli military said it had been carrying out “counter-terrorism activity” that included an air strike.

The military said Israeli soldiers had “encircled a building where terrorists have barricaded themselves in” and the soldiers were exchanging fire, while an air strike had “struck several armed terrorists” in the area.

The Palestinian health ministry said a total of seven people had been killed, but did not specify whether they died in the exchange of fire or the airstrike.

The Islamic Jihad militant group named four of the dead as its members.

The clashes in Jenin, a known militant stronghold where the army frequently operates, came a day after an Israeli anti-settlement monitoring group said the government plans to build nearly 5,300 new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The construction plans revealed by the Peace Now group are part of the hard-line government’s efforts to beef up settlements as part of a strategy of cementing Israel’s control over the West Bank to prevent a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza – areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war – for an independent state.

Violence has spiralled in the West Bank since the start of Israel’s war in Gaza, sparked by the October 7 raid into southern Israel by Hamas militants who killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 200 others as hostages.

The war has so far killed more than 38,000 Palestinians, Gaza’s health ministry says. The ministry does not differentiate between combatants and civilians in its count, but it includes thousands of women and children.

Ceasefire talks appeared to be reviving after stalling for weeks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he was sending negotiators to resume the talks, a day after Hamas handed mediators its latest response to a US-backed proposal for a deal.

The revival of negotiations appeared to mark another attempt by US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators to overcome the gap that has repeatedly thwarted a deal over the past months.

Hamas wants an agreement that ensures Israeli troops fully leave Gaza and the war ends, while Mr Netanyahu says the war cannot end before Hamas is eliminated.

Israeli forces said they had carried out counter-terror operations (AP) (AP)

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