Israeli forces raided the occupied West Bank City of Jenin early Thursday and killed at least nine Palestinians, including a 60-year-old woman, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
The Israeli army and a local armed Palestinian group said that a gun battle between the Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen broke out amid the raid.
More than a dozen people were injured from tear gas inhalation or gunfire, the Palestinian health ministry and Palestinian Red Crescent said. They accused Israeli troops of storming a hospital, firing tear gas in the hallways, and preventing ambulances from reaching the injured.
The Israeli army said the raid was a “counterterrorism operation” and denied storming the hospital or firing tear gas.
Officials from the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank, condemned the raid and killings, and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that Israeli forces continued to kill Palestinians, motivated by a sense of impunity. He called on the United Nations and international human rights groups to urgently intervene to protect Palestinians and prevent further bloodshed.
The deaths brought to 29 the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank so far this year, including at least five children. Last year, at least 166 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the deadliest year for Palestinians since the United Nations began tracking in 2005. The majority were civilians, according to the United Nations and Palestinian human rights groups.
The toll rose as Israel stepped up military raids in the West Bank in the spring of 2022 after Palestinian assailants carried out a series of attacks, killing 19 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, in the worst spate of killings in years.