WATCH: IDF enters Jenin refugee camp in first since major operation

IDF operates in Jenin for the first time in two months • Three Hamas terrorists arrested, one Palestinian rushed for treatment in Israel

IDF operates in Jenin refugee camp. September 4, 2023(Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The IDF entered the Jenin refugee camp on Monday morning, for the first time since its massive operation there on July 3-4. 

Three Palestinians affiliated with Hamas were arrested, identified by security forces as Abdallah Hassan Muhammad Zubah, Vered Asherif and Mutazben Jaitza. During the arrests, multiple Palestinians tried to flee the building and were hit by IDF fire, with no IDF confirmation about the condition of those who were hit.

This marks the first time IDF troops entered Jenin since its major operation launched on the West Bank terror hub in July.

The operation was not planned far in advance and did not take place during the overnight hours as most raids do because the specific intelligence leading to the operation only came forward shortly before the operation.

Unconfirmed Palestinian reports indicated five Palestinians were injured in clashes between armed gunmen and the IDF, with the IDF still not having provided information about its activities beyond that an operation was underway. One Palestinian in his 30s was rushed in serious condition to Rambam Medical Center.

 Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian youth following Military operation in Jenin, in the West Bank city of Hebron, July 3, 2023 (credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian youth following Military operation in Jenin, in the West Bank city of Hebron, July 3, 2023 (credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)

The IDF entered the West Bank city to conduct arrests based on intelligence gathered rather than carrying out a widespread arrest operation.

The forces operating include the IDF's elite commando Duvdevan Unit and Sayeret Golani, along with Border Police officers. 

IDF 'pleased' with PA asserting control over Jenin

Though the IDF has acted regularly in the West Bank and even times in outer parts of Jenin, it has not entered the inner refugee camp of Jenin since the July operation. Instead, it has preferred to let the Palestinian Authority reassert its control in the city after years of deterioration of the PA's control there.

Overall, the IDF has been pleased with the PA reasserting itself, so it was unclear what led to Monday's decision to penetrate the refugee camp.

During the July operation, the military had preselected dozens of targets to eliminate in terms of terror command centers and weapons and explosives storage areas.

All but around 10 of those locations were already destroyed or neutralized in the first day of the operation, many within the first two hours in attacks by the air force.

All told, during the July operation, a mix of IDF drones destroyed 20 targets, while the IDF commandos, Maglan, paratroopers, regular Menashe infantry, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) forces neutralized a variety of other targets, including a concealed hiding spot of a large cache of weapons under a mosque.

Pre-operation estimates were there were 150 specific wanted suspects in Jenin and an estimated total of 300 potential combat fighters out of the population of 49,000.

Of those, around 120 were arrested, though not all 120 were suspects and some were released.

16 terror suspects arrested ahead of Jenin raid

Earlier on Monday, the IDF said that Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinian terror suspects in an overnight raid of West Bank cities and villages.

Two suspects suspected of being involved in an attack were arrested in the village of Abu Dis.

In addition, IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police personnel confiscated stolen military equipment, including ammunition and M-16 rifle parts, in searches conducted in several villages.

This is a developing story.