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At least 8 Palestinians killed after Israel launches new crackdown

On Monday, Israel sharply intensified military operations to levels not seen for years.
Residents of the Jenin refugee camp evacuate their homes
Posted at 9:19 PM, Jul 03, 2023

Israel sharply escalated its military operations in the West Bank on Monday, deploying hundreds of troops and making several drone strikes against a militant stronghold.

The crackdown on the Jenin refugee camp is the most significant increase in military activity in the region for close to two decades. At least eight Palestinians have been killed, and dozens more have been wounded.

The Jenin camp, in the northern part of the West Bank, is known to be a nexus of militant activity. Israel's chief military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said there had been some 50 attacks launched from the region in the last year.

"In recent months, Jenin has turned into a safe haven for terrorism," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We are putting an end to this."

Mourners gather around bodies of Palestinians who were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

Israeli strikes in Gaza kill 3 senior militants, 10 others

Israel says the raids in the West Bank are meant to dismantle militant networks, but similar killings in the past have prompted retaliatory attacks.

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The Israeli military on Monday blockaded all traffic and patrolled the streets in armored vehicles. Power and water services to the area were cut. The army said it was allowing people to leave the area to escape the violence.

U.N. officials said they were alarmed at the surge in activity. Concerning drone strikes against civilian areas, they warned that "attacks on heavily populated areas are violations of international humanitarian law."

The crackdown comes after recent attacks on Israeli settlers. Four Israelis died in June after two Palestinians opened fire at a restaurant and gas station, before being shot dead.