RAMALLAH: Three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli drone strike early on Friday in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the head of the Palestinian ambulance service said.
The Israeli army confirmed it had carried out an airstrike, saying it had killed at least five militants during fighting in Jenin, a focus of repeated recent clashes as tensions soar against the backdrop of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas gunmen operating out of Gaza.
“An armed terrorist cell that fired at Israeli security forces was struck by an (Israel Defense Force aircraft. Additional terrorists who fired and hurled explosive devices at the security forces were neutralized,” the military said.
Hamas and the smaller militant group Islamic Jihad said they had engaged Israeli forces for several hours in the streets of Jenin, unleashing heavy fire and laying ambushes with explosives.
The military said that gunmen then fled in vehicles and ambulances toward Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital, and that troops stopped one of the vehicles at the entrance to the hospital.
It released video footage of them searching a car at the hospital and finding M-16 rifles and ammunition.
Palestinian health officials said some hospital workers were ordered to exit the hospital, with a verified video showing them walking out of the building, holding up their hands.
Separately, the military said Israeli soldiers had shot dead two gunmen who had opened fire at them from a car near the West Bank city of Hebron.