In a tense operation on Monday, an Israeli raid into the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank resulted in a massive firefight, leaving at least five Palestinians dead and dozens wounded. The Israeli military faced heavy fire as they struggled to rescue their troops during the intense clashes.
Israeli Raid in Jenin
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that among the five fatalities, two were teenagers, and three were in their 20s. At least 91 individuals were wounded, with 23 in critical to severe condition, according to the ministry. Eight Israeli troops sustained injuries but were successfully evacuated, confirmed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The IDF stated that Israeli Air Force attack helicopters provided aerial support, opening fire to assist in the evacuation of Israeli troops from Jenin.
Approximately 11 hours after the Palestinian sources initially reported the incursion, IDF international spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht informed CNN that Israeli troops and vehicles had successfully withdrawn from Jenin.
Earlier, Hecht clarified that the soldiers were not trapped and had relocated to other protected vehicles involved in the extraction. He noted that at least five vehicles were immobilized, stating that the situation was challenging and would take a few hours to resolve.
According to Israel Army Radio, this was the first instance of Israeli helicopters opening fire during the evacuation of wounded troops since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005. The Second Intifada was a significant Palestinian uprising.
The Jenin Brigade, a locally based militant group, claimed responsibility for firing at an Israeli helicopter, forcing it to retreat. They also stated that they had successfully immobilized Israeli military vehicles through gunfire and ambushes.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased Palestinians as Khalid Azam Asa’asa, 21; Qasam Faisal Abu Seriya, 29; Qais Majdi Adel Jabareen, 21; Ahmad Khaled Faysal Draghma, 19; and Ahmed Youssef Saqer, 15.
The Jenin Brigade, a Palestinian militant group affiliated with Islamic Jihad, recognized Jabareen and Seriya as fighters who died in the clashes. Islamic Jihad also claimed Draghma as a member of its Toubas Brigade, praising him as a “heroic fighter” who confronted Israeli occupation forces. Social media footage suggested that Draghma was shot while throwing stones at IDF forces.
Among the wounded, 23 individuals are in critical to severe condition, as reported by the Palestinian Health Ministry. A Palestinian girl also sustained a critical head injury, according to the ministry’s statement.
Out of the eight Israeli troops injured, three are IDF soldiers, and five are Israel Border Police officers. Three of them sustained moderate injuries, while the remaining five had minor injuries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the wounded troops later in the day, as depicted in photos released by the Government Press Office.
During the raid, an Israeli military dog named Dago suffered internal injuries and is currently receiving treatment at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, the hospital confirmed.
The Israeli incursion involved an undercover Israel Border Police unit known as Yamas, stated Israel Police on Monday.
Both the IDF and Border Police described the operation as a “massive exchange of fire.” They were targeted with gunfire and explosive devices, to which they responded with live fire, resulting in casualties, as stated by the IDF.
Lt. Col. Hecht mentioned that a Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle was struck by a “pretty advanced” improvised explosive device, indicating that the scale of the IED was a matter of concern. He emphasized that the situation was highly unusual and dramatic, which would impact future operations.