“The situation in Jenin camp is very critical,” Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a separate statement, adding that Israeli forces were preventing ambulances from reaching the injured.
She also said that Israeli forces had “deliberately” fired tear gas at a pediatric ward of a hospital.
The Israel Defense Forces later said that its forces had conducted a raid against members of Islamic Jihad who were “heavily involved” in planning and carrying out attacks against Israelis, but accused the militants of opening fire first. It said six “terrorists” were killed while another surrendered, adding that reports of other casualties were being “looked into.”
There have been almost daily Israeli operations on targets in the West Bank but the scale of Thursday’s conflict and the number of fatalities were unusual.
According to figures from the United Nations, 151 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank last year — the highest figure since the U.N. began systematic records began in 2005. They include U.S. citizen and Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot while covering another raid at the refugee camp in Jenin on May 11.
The latest violence comes weeks after Benjamin Netanyahu once again became Israel’s prime minister, with the most right-wing cabinet in the country’s history.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.