By Ben Sales
(JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces launched a large-scale raid on suspected terrorists in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Monday, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens.
An Israeli soldier was wounded in Monday’s operation but has returned to the fighting.
The raid is the most extensive in Jenin since the second intifada, which also saw intense fighting in the city, according to the Jerusalem Post. Jenin has been the site of multiple deadly raids this year by the Israeli military, which says the city is a locus of Palestinian terror groups that have killed dozens of Israelis this year.
The raid is an effort to stem that violence, which has escalated in recent months in the West Bank. In addition to the Israelis killed, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank this year, and the territory has been the site of several riots by Israeli settlers who have burned buildings, crops and cars.
“The Jenin Camp is a terrorist stronghold,” the IDF said in a statement early Monday morning, referencing the city’s refugee camp. “We will not standby idle while terrorists continue to harm civilians using Jenin Camp as a hideout.”
A Palestinian Authority spokesperson decried the raid as “a new war crime against our defenseless people,” according to Haaretz.
The operation has included a drone strike on Jenin in addition to a ground incursion of hundreds of combat soldiers. The operation comes two weeks after clashes during an Israeli raid in Jenin saw an Israeli helicopter evacuate wounded soldiers from the city.
The fighting takes place as civil strife threatens to erupt domestically in Israel. The country’s parliament, the Knesset, is now poised to advance the government’s controversial effort to weaken the judiciary, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had shelved the proposals for over a month. Opponents of the overhaul, who earlier this year showed up in the hundreds of thousands, have planned protests at Ben-Gurion International Airport and other locations in response.