West Bank airstrikes and rockets after Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp

Fire and smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in central Gaza Strip.
Fire and smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in central Gaza Strip. Copyright Fatima Shbair/Copyright 2023, The AP. All rights reserved
By Thomas Hill with AP
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The night skies over the West Bank were lit up by Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian rocket fire. Violence flared after nine Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp on Thursday.

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Gaza militants fired rockets and Israel carried out airstrikes on Friday as tensions soared following an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank that killed nine Palestinians, including at least seven militants and a 61-year-old woman.

It was the deadliest single raid in the territory in more than two decades. The flare-up in violence poses an early test for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government.

Of the five rockets fired at Israel, three were intercepted, one fell in an open area and another fell short inside Gaza, the Israeli military said. It said its airstrikes targeted an underground rocket manufacturing site for Hamas as well as militant training areas.

Both the Palestinian rockets and Israeli airstrikes seemed limited so as to prevent escalation into a full-blown war.

What happened at Jenin Refugee Camp?

Thursday's deadly raid in the Jenin refugee camp was likely to reverberate on Friday as Palestinians gather for weekly Muslim prayers that are often followed by protests. Hamas had earlier threatened revenge for the raid.

Raising the stakes, the Palestinian Authority said it would halt the ties that its security forces maintain with Israel in a shared effort to contain Islamic militants. Previous threats have been short-lived, in part because of the benefits the authority enjoys from the relationship and also due to US and Israeli pressure to maintain it.

On Thursday, Israeli forces went on heightened alert as Palestinians filled the streets across the West Bank, chanting in solidarity with Jenin. President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning, and in the refugee camp, residents dug a mass grave for the dead.

Palestinians plan to take case to ICC

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Abbas had decided to cut security coordination in “light of the repeated aggression against our people." He also said the Palestinians planned to file complaints with the UN Security Council, International Criminal Court, and other international bodies.

Barbara Leaf, the top US diplomat for the Middle East, said the Biden administration was deeply concerned about the situation and that civilian casualties reported in Jenin were “quite regrettable”.

However, she also said the Palestinian announcement to suspend security ties and to pursue the matter at international organisations was a mistake.

For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.

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