OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 2:12 PM PT – Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Israeli forces conducted a daytime raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday targeting a Hamas operative who had gunned down two Israeli brothers in February.
The raid had resulted in six deaths, including the targeted individual. The other five fatalities were all confirmed to be members of different militant groups. It is reported that those groups included either Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.
Israeli forces laid siege to a house inside a refugee camp while large crowds gathered at the camp entrances and set tires on fire in attempts to prevent Israeli forces from exiting. Israeli air support had been seen overhead as gunships and drones were circling over the camp.
As a result of the fighting, three Israeli troops were injured and two drones had crashed.
The target of the raid was 49-year-old Abdul Fattah Kharushah who was part of the Hamas militant group. Kharushah had been suspected in killing Hillel Yaniv, 21, and his brother Yigal, 19, as they drove through the town of Hawara on February 26th.
Kharushah was surrounded by Israeli forces in a house in Jenin and was killed when rockets were fired at the building.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli forces for the raid.
“Our brave warriors operated surgically in the heart of the murderers’ den,” he said. “I praise them and send recovery wishes to the wounded from among our forces. As I say again and again, time and time again: Whoever hurts us — his blood is on his head.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Palestinian Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh denounced the raid and called on President Joe Biden to make a greater effort to try and stop Israeli raids into Palestine.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to arrive in Israel on Wednesday in an effort to reinforce Biden’s pleas for Israel to scale back their West Bank raids.
Austin is also expected to reinforce the Biden administration’s view on having the Palestinian Authority make a greater effort in confronting militant groups within their own borders.
So far in 2023, there has been more violence in the West Bank, Israel, and Jerusalem than there has been in the previous two decades. Palestinian attackers have killed 14 Israelis and foreigners, while Israeli military raids against individuals attached to militant groups in Palestine have resulted in more than 60 Palestinian deaths.
The Jenin camp is largely ungoverned, with Palestinian security rarely entering the area and handing control over to armed groups within the city.