Israel launches military operation in West Bank

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The Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service launched a large-scale offensive early on Monday morning, seeking to “thwart the threat of terrorism” across the West Bank. The joint operation allegedly targeted a militant headquarters in Jenin city’s refugee camp.

The IDF confirmed that it struck “terror infrastructure” in the city at around 2am, claiming the Jenin camp had been turned into a “terrorist stronghold.” The military said it raided a joint headquarters of multiple armed groups which “served as an observation post, a gathering place for armed terrorists before and after terror acts, a cache for munitions and bombs and a communications center.

“We will not idly stand by while terrorists continue to harm civilians using the Jenin Camp as a hideout,” the Israeli military added in a brief press release.

“We are acting to dismantle this hornets nest,” an Israeli military spokesman,  Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, wrote in a tweet, claiming that “operational sites used by terrorists” are “located next to schools, a medical center and civilian houses.”

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least one citizen was killed and another seriously injured during the raid.

Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War and began to build new settlements in the territory. The UN Security Council has declared those actions to have “no legal validity” and to constitute “a flagrant violation under international law.” However, Israel disputes that position.

The remaining Palestinian portion of the West Bank is formally under the control of the President Mahmoud Abbas, but Israel regularly conducts military and police raids into the area under the pretext of fighting extremism and terrorism.

Last month, Israeli helicopters conducted a raid in Jenin, killing seven Palestinians, including two teens. In a separate incident, eight Israeli soldiers were injured by a roadside bomb amid clashes with armed Palestinian militants. Several days later, an Israeli drone struck a car carrying three Palestinians suspected of attacking an army checkpoint, in the first instance of targeted assassination in the West Bank since 2006, according to the Times of Israel.

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