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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Israeli troops pull back from West Bank

An IDF soldier was killed while securing the withdrawal from the Palestinian territory

The Israel Defense Forces have withdrawn over 1,000 troops from the West Bank after the largest military operation in the Palestinian city of Jenin in two decades.

The raid was aimed at eradicating a “terrorist stronghold” in the city’s refugee camp, and according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was supposed to last until that goal was achieved.

Read more: Brutal Israeli Raid in the West Bank

Some Israeli troops were seen leaving the West Bank while other units secured their pullout from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, nearly two days into the operation, according to local media.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari was quoted by media as saying all Israeli forces had left the area, and that the operation was complete.

A non-commissioned officer from the elite Egoz commando unit, was fatally wounded during sporadic clashes, the Times of Israel reported. The military was investigating whether he was killed by Palestinian gunfire or “friendly fire” from other Israeli units, according to Hagari.

The IDF began its raid around 1:00 am on Monday, with multiple air and drone strikes and a major ground offensive, targeting “terrorist infrastructure” of the local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, known as the Jenin Battalion, and other militant groups.

Read more: Israel evicts Palestinians from West Bank homes for ‘military exercise’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation would “continue as long as it takes to complete the mission,” calling Jenin a “safe haven for terrorism” while describing the West Bank militants as “the most legitimate target on the planet.”

Since then, Israeli forces allegedly killed 18 Palestinian gunmen and questioned over 300 suspected militants, with 30 of them detained pending further investigation. The military also confiscated dozens of rifles and handguns, as well as bomb-making materials, while demolishing over a dozen weapon storage sites and explosives labs, as well as three “war rooms.”

The Palestinian health ministry said at least 13 people were killed in the past two days, and some 100 others were wounded in Israeli airstrikes and clashes.