The United Nations has never logged such a high death count in a single operation in the West Bank since its records began in 2005.
Israeli forces in the West Bank killed 10 Palestinians on Thursday, officials in the occupied territory said, nine of them in a raid the Israeli military described as a counterterrorism operation. The bloodiest day in the West Bank in years erupted during a raid on the crowded refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, where gunshots rang through the streets and smoke billowed from burning barricades.
Palestinian health officials put the death count from the clashes at nine, adding that 20 people were wounded before Israeli forces withdrew mid-morning. The military said Israeli forces came under fire during a “counterterrorism operation to apprehend an Islamic Jihad terror squad” and shot several enemy combatants.
Since its records began in 2005, the United Nations has never logged such a high death count in a single operation in the West Bank. A tenth Palestinian was subsequently shot dead by Israeli forces in Al-Ram, near Ramallah, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the man was shot in clashes that erupted during a protest over the Jenin killings. The violence prompted the Palestinian Authority to announce it was cutting security coordination with Israel, a move criticised by the United States.
Among those confirmed dead in Jenin was Majeda Obeid, 61, who lived some metres from the house targeted by the Israeli forces. Her daughter, Kefiyat Obeid, told AFP her mother was shot as she peered out her window at the clashes. “After she finished her prayers, she stopped for a moment to look and, as she stood up, she was hit in the neck by a bullet and she fell against the wall and then to the floor,” the 26-year-old told AFP, as bloodstains soaked into the rug of their home.
The military said the incursion targeted Islamic Jihad militants who were allegedly behind attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians and, according to Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, were planning “to conduct a terror attack in Israel”.