Israeli forces killed at least nine Palestinians, including a 60-year-old woman, during a raid in a flashpoint area of the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said.
It has been described as the deadliest day seen in the territory in years.
Palestinian health officials have described the raid as a “fierce, daytime operation” in the Jenin refugee camp, a militant stronghold in the West Bank. It has been the focus of almost a year of Israeli raids. Officials added at least 20 others were wounded.
The conflict spiked this month, 29 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the year. It was not immediately clear how many of those who were killed on Thursday were affiliated with armed groups.
The fighting comes just weeks after Israel formed its new ultra-nationalist government, its most right-wing administration since the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to take a hard line against the Palestinians and ramp up settlement construction on lands the Palestinian seek for their hoped-for state.
It also comes days before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to arrive in the region and push for steps that might improve daily life for the Palestinians.
The Israeli military said it was conducting the rare daytime operation due to intelligence it received on a militant grouping linked to the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. The military claimed it was set to carry out imminent attacks against Israelis. A gun battle erupted, during which the military said it targeted the militants.
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