Officials from the occupied West Bank say that an Israeli military raid killed nine Palestinians. This is the deadliest Israeli army raid in years.
In the volatile town of Jenin, a 60-year-old woman was among the dead.
The Israeli military said that its troops went in to catch Islamic Jihad militants who were planning “major attacks.”
The Palestinian president said that Israel had committed a “massacre” in Jenin, where there have been many raids in recent months.
The Israeli military says that the incursions are part of a campaign against terrorism that began in April of last year.
Heavy gunfire and explosions could be heard on Thursday morning as Israeli troops surrounded buildings and fought with Palestinian militants in the Jenin refugee camp.
Magda Obaid, 60, Saeb Izreiqi, 24, and Izzidin Salahat, 26, were slain, according to the Palestinian health ministry. It reported 20 wounded, four critically.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that its troops entered Jenin to apprehend a “terror squad” of Islamic Jihad, which was “heavily involved in planning and carrying out many major terrorist assaults against Israeli civilians and soldiers,” according to the IDF.
It said that police surrounded a building and that three suspects who opened fire were “neutralized,” while a fourth suspect gave himself up. The IDF said that other Palestinian gunmen shot at their troops, so the troops shot back and hit their targets. It also said that it was looking into “claims about more deaths.”
Islamic Jihad and Hamas both said that their militants had shot at and thrown bombs at the troops.
The IDF said that the Islamic Jihad cell was using a house as a hiding place. The house was still smoking where furniture caught fire.
On the ground floor, the outside walls were torn down, exposing the faucets and sink of a bathroom. The upper floor was also full of bullet holes, and there was a pool of blood in the stairwell.
Israeli troops killed 150 Palestinians in the West Bank last year. Gunmen, militants, and defenceless people died.
Palestinian and Israeli Arab attacks against Israelis and militant firing at troops during arrest operations killed around 30 civilians, police, and soldiers.