Tensions escalate in West Bank after 10 Palestinians die in latest Israel Palestinian conflict
Rising tensions between Israeli and Palestinian territories are raising concerns about the situation escalating into a full-scale war, following the Israeli military's raid in Jenin on Thursday that left 10 dead.
The Israeli military dealt a "tough blow" to Palestinian militants in Gaza and was preparing to hit “high-quality targets ... until peace is restored to the citizens of Israel” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to the Associated Press.
Gaza militants have since fired rockets to the south of Israel, and the Israeli Defense Force responded by striking an underground rocket-manufacturing site and military base in Gaza belonging to Hamas.
Israel's defense minister ordered the military to prepare for new strikes in the Gaza Strip if violence ensues.
The turmoil comes in response to one of the deadliest raids in the West Bank in two decades according to Palestinian Officials. Thursday's attack in the Jenin refugee camp was meant "to apprehend an Islamic Jihad terrorist squad planning imminent terrorist attacks" that day, said Israel's defense force.
Footage released by the Israeli Defense Force showed armed gunmen in Gaza firing at Israeli soldiers from civilian rooftops while they conducted the mission. The crossfire on Palestinian landscape killed 9 Palestinians.
The turmoil comes just before Secrertary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit Israel. He reportedly plans to discuss the return of Bibi Netanyahu and Israel’s new far-right government and the Palestinian Authority's decision to cut security ties with Israel.
Jenin has returned as a hotspot for militant activity, as it was during the Intifada, the last Palestinian uprising.
The Palestinian rockets seem limited and Israeli airstrikes have been targeted to military bases, to avoid escalation into war.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority declared on Thursday that its security forces would end ties with Israel in helping to stifle Islamic militant groups. Israeli security experts warn that without their security support, the slew of stabbings and shootings in Palestinian territories could escalate.