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Kohavi holds meeting on West Bank violence, says ‘concrete threat’ foiled in Jenin

Military chief Aviv Kohavi held a meeting Wednesday with top officials at the Israel Defense Forces Central Command headquarters, amid an uptick in violence in the West Bank.

Central Command chief Yehuda Fuchs and West Bank Division commander Avi Blot presented Kohavi with an updated assessment of the region during the meeting, the military said in a statement.

“Every day and night, our forces arrest wanted persons, operate under fire and thwart terrorist activities,” Kohavi said in remarks provided by the IDF.

“Even this morning we carried out a complex operation in the Jenin refugee camp, which was carried out with determination and professionalism, with the goal of thwarting a concrete threat,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, at least four Palestinians were killed in a military raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

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A Border Police spokesman said that officers along with IDF troops sought to arrest Abd al-Rahman Hazem, the brother of a terrorist who carried out a deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv earlier this year, and Muhammed Alownah.

Smoke is seen rising from a home in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, September 28, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

The pair were responsible for a series of shooting attacks in recent months, including one that targeted a Defense Ministry engineering vehicle working along the northern West Bank security barrier earlier this month, the police spokesman said.

Israeli officials said the pair planned “more significant attacks in the near future.”

The IDF said the wanted gunmen set off a large bomb as troops attempted to enter the home, later publishing drone footage of the incident.

“Hazem and Alownah were killed in the exchange of fire,” police said, adding that troops seized an assault rifle from one of the gunmen.

Police also published headcam footage of officers approaching the home and killing one of the gunmen, who appeared to have jumped out of the building.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said another two people were killed in the clashes, and 44 were hurt, including several listed in serious condition.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said its members opened fire at troops near the Hazem family home.

The third killed Palestinian was identified as Ahmed Alawneh, 24, a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces. He was killed by an IDF sniper as he was firing at troops in the area, according to footage published by Palestinian media outlets.

The fourth fatality was named as Muhammad Abu Na’asa.

There were no Israeli injuries in the operation.

وسط اشتباكاتٍ ومواجـــهات عنيفة.. ارتقاء 4 فلسطينيين في #جنين خلال عــمــلــية عسكرية إسرائيلية.#فلسطين

— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) September 28, 2022

The IDF raid Wednesday came amid rising violence in the West Bank, particularly in its north.

On Tuesday night, Israeli troops came under gunfire near the Palestinian town of Asira ash-Shamaliya during “routine activity.”

Palestinian gunmen in recent months have targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

File: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, September 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops have also repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The military launched the arrest operations after a series of attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May, including the Tel Aviv shooting.

Many of the IDF’s arrests in recent months have concentrated on Nablus and Jenin, in the northern West Bank, where a number of the terrorists who committed the attacks earlier this year hailed from.

Israeli security officials have warned in recent months that the Palestinian Authority is losing control of the northern West Bank.