At least 14 Palestinians were killed in the refugee camp Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, following an Israeli military raid, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The incursion resulted in clashes with Palestinians early Thursday morning, the ministry said. It is not yet clear whether the deceased were civilians or militants.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it conducted the Jenin raid to “thwart terrorist infrastructure” and to demolish the home of a man who allegedly killed an off-duty Israeli soldier in an August 31 ramming attack.
“Engineering forces uncovered explosive devices intended to harm our forces in the Jenin refugee camp,” the IDF said in a statement. “The commander of the Central Command signed a demolition order for the home of the terrorist who carried out the stampede attack at the Maccabim checkpoint and the Hashmonaim checkpoint.”
Israeli forces also launched at least one drone strike following clashes, according to Israeli Army Radio, the IDF, and eyewitnesses speaking to CNN.
Videos obtained by CNN and eyewitness account to CNN depict a heavy military presence in the city. Militants and Israeli forces can be heard exchanging gunfire. At least a dozen armored vehicles can be seen on the city’s roads, and armored bulldozers ripping up streets and destroying a house.
A video obtained by CNN shows leaflets being dropped on the camp following the operation. A resident shared an image of the leaflet with CNN. “Camp residents, the IDF’s activities inside the camp were a result of the terrorist operations that you support,” the leaflet read. “The IDF remains here and will return again and again until the terror is completely eliminated. The most excused is he who warns.”
One eyewitness told CNN that ambulances were unable to assist the injured, because Israeli forces surrounded the Ibn Sina hospital and blocked some ambulances from leaving. One video obtained by CNN shows multiple bodies lying motionless on the ground, covered in sheets with ambulance sirens blaring in the background.
The Israeli-Gaza war has increasingly spilled over into the West Bank with settler attacks and clashes leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Thursday that the death toll in the West Bank has risen to 176. The Palestinians were either killed by Israeli forces or Jewish settlers, the ministry said. More than 2,450 Palestinians in the West Bank have been wounded since October 7th, it added.
Israeli forces frequently demolish the homes of people alleged to be involved in terror attacks.
The Jenin raid follows another demolition on Wedneday, when hundreds of Israeli police officers and IDF troops entered the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied east Jerusalem to demolish the home of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy accused of stabbing an Israeli Border Police officer in February, Israel Police said.
The officer, Sgt. Asil Suead, died on February 13 after being stabbed and then accidentally shot by security guard responding to the incident, the Jerusalem Border Police said at the time.
Several Palestinian residents told CNN that during the incursion to demolish the home on Wednesday, Israeli soldiers conducted “humiliating” searches of children on their way to school. Two videos obtained by CNN showed Israeli troops conducting searches of what appear to be teenaged girls in school uniforms stood against walls. Another video shows an officer aggressively holding a teenaged boy against a wall.
“Regarding the videos circulating on social media depicting searches involving women conducted this morning in East Jerusalem, it is important to clarify that these searches were carried out by a female Border Police officer,” the Israel Police said in response to a CNN question about the checks.
Hours later, videos obtained by CNN shows the forces surrounding the house and the explosion inside the refugee camp.