Six people were tragically killed in an Israeli airstrike in Jenin, a city in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The Ministry of Health, which is run by the Palestinian Authority, stated that the attack was carried out by the Israeli occupation and targeted a group of citizens in Jenin. The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that there was a significant deployment of Israeli forces in the area. Violence has escalated in the West Bank since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza on October 7th. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that over 300 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the conflict began.
The Israeli military has shifted its focus away from northern Gaza, stating that it has completed the dismantling of Hamas’ military infrastructure in that area. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson for the Israeli military, announced on Saturday night that their forces would continue to deepen their achievements in Gaza. They plan to strengthen defenses along the Israel-Gaza border fence and concentrate on the central and southern parts of the territory. This change in strategy comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region. The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to reduce its air and ground offensive in Gaza and instead focus on targeted attacks against Hamas leaders to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians. Blinken is expected to pressure Israel to prioritize the protection of civilians in Gaza during his visit. Israel has already been scaling back its attacks on northern Gaza and shifting its focus to the south, where the majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians reside. However, this has led to overcrowding and dire humanitarian conditions as Israeli airstrikes persist.
More details have emerged about the airstrike in Jenin. The Palestinian health ministry confirmed that six Palestinians were killed, while Israel reported that one of its soldiers had also died. According to eyewitnesses, the attack occurred as Israeli forces were withdrawing from the area. The Palestinian ministry stated that the strike targeted people who had gathered at the site, while Israel claimed its aircraft had fired on Palestinian militants who had attacked troops in Jenin. Dr. Mujahid Nazzal, a Palestinian doctor and first responder at the scene, described the devastating impact of the missile, with one of the victims being decapitated and others suffering severed limbs. Another witness, Ahmed Suleiman, recounted the horrific aftermath of the strike, with blood and body parts scattered everywhere. Family members revealed that four of those killed were brothers.
During the operations in Jenin, an Israeli border police officer was killed and several others were wounded when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device. The Israeli military and police confirmed this incident and stated that a helicopter was deployed to rescue the injured personnel while providing covering fire. The military further reported that an aircraft had fired at a “terrorist squad” that had thrown explosives, resulting in the deaths of several terrorists.
The ongoing violence in the West Bank, including the recent airstrike in Jenin, highlights the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine. The conflict has taken a heavy toll on both sides, with numerous lives lost and a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The international community, including the United States, continues to call for a de-escalation of the violence and the protection of civilians. However, finding a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a complex and challenging task.