Fierce clashes have erupted in Jenin following an Israeli operation in the West Bank city that left at least eight people dead. 

Drones struck at what Israel says were militant targets, while ground forces raided the area’s sprawling refugee camp.

Israel deployed hundreds of troops in the area, in an incursion which resembled the wide-scale military operations carried out during the second Palestinian uprising two decades ago. 

Palestinian sources said the Israeli military blocked roads within the camp, took over houses and buildings and set up snipers on rooftops. The tactics signalled the operation could drag on for some time.

The Palestinian prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said Israel wanted to wipe out the camp.

“This aggression is a link that completes what the settlers are doing in terms of terrorism and assaults,” he said.

“We call on the world to immediately stop the aggression against our people in Jenin, and we call that it be confronted and that the settler gangs be confronted. 

“We demand the imposition of all possible sanctions against Israel, the aggressor which sponsors terrorism, and terrorism by settlers.”

Israel insists the Jenin camp has been a hub of militant activity from which attacks on its territory have been launched.

Israeli Army spokesperson, Richard Hecht, said: “We want to break off the camp being a safe haven for terrorists who were performing attacks all over Judea and Samaria and they were running back to hide inside the camp. 

“This will not be a safe haven for these terrorists and that’s why we’re acting.”

Israel says most of those killed have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and people uninvolved in confrontations have also been killed.

The raid has been described as the largest Israeli operation in the area for more than a year. The army said it was likely to continue for several days.

Source: Euronews

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