Three Palestinians were killed and 10 others were injured in armed clashes with IDF soldiers in Jenin on Friday morning, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The clashes broke out as IDF soldiers entered Jenin to confiscate illegal weapons from two locations, according to the IDF spokesperson.
As the soldiers approached the first target, they fell under heavy gunfire, and explosives were thrown at them. The soldiers responded with live fire.
On their way to the second target, soldiers from the elite Sayeret Golani noticed a suspicious vehicle on the side of the road. The occupants of the vehicle opened fire at the soldiers. Israeli forces shot back and killed the gunmen.
In the vehicle, the soldiers found two M-16 variant rifles, a Carlo submachine gun, magazines and a bulletproof jacket.
"While you were marching during the night, and you walked a long way, Golani soldiers, in small numbers, marched in the Jenin area for another night of arrests. One of the soldiers noticed a suspicious vehicle, contact was made, an encounter led forward by commanders, and a terrorist cell was thwarted with three terrorists killed," said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi to youth who were completing the "Aharai!" youth empowerment program on Friday.
"There is no country in the world that is threatened like the State of Israel. There's no precedent for this. Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Iran in all these places. There is no country in the world that deals with so many enemies and at the same time also operates in all these fronts in order to thwart the operations of the enemies, in order to deter them, in order to prevent them from succeeding in what they want to do," added Kohavi.
Multiple terrorist movements claimed the three terrorists as members on Friday.
Hamas claimed on Friday morning that one of the terrorists killed was a field commander in the movement's military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, while Palestinian Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades branch in Jenin claimed that all three were members of their movement.
"The cowardly assassination during which this group of Palestinian men rose to life, and eight others were injured during the storming of the city, will not go unpunished, and our rebellious and striving people and their valiant resistance know how to strike the enemy and respond to his heinous crime," said Hamas in a press statement.
The al-Quds Brigades Jenin branch stated that the three terrorists had clashed with Israeli forces before withdrawing to a side street where they were surprised by an Israeli ambush that targeted their vehicle. The Jenin branch warned that Israel would "pay a heavy price" for the incident.
According to Palestinian reports, one of the Palestinians killed was the brother of Saad Salah, who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin in 2017, while another one was the brother of Ala Abu Srour, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander killed in an Israeli raid in Jenin in 2007.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the incident on Friday morning, warning that "the Israeli government bears the responsibility for this dangerous escalation, which is pushing the region towards tension and exacerbating the situation."
"This crime committed by the Israeli occupation forces comes before US President Joe Biden's visit to the region in an attempt to evade any political entitlement," added Abbas, calling the incident an "assassination" and the "Israeli response to the American demand to stop the escalation."
The Palestinian president called on the US to take "serious and effective action" against the Israeli government "before it is too late and things get out of control."