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Jenin raid sparks gunfight

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A gun battle erupted late Monday during a large-scale Israeli arrest raid in the northern city of Jenin, reportedly to arrest a senior Islamic Jihad official, security sources and locals said.

Palestinian security officials said over 40 Israeli military vehicles raided Jenin and the refugee camp in the city, leading to violent clashes with youths.

The target of the arrest was reportedly Bassem al-Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad official.

Israeli forces also surrounded a house belonging to the Abu al-Hija family, affiliated with Hamas, and clashes ensued with armed gunmen.

Majdi al-Hija, his brother Alaa, his son, and other family members were detained, with Israeli forces using explosive devices to destroy the gate to the home.

Five Palestinians were injured by tear gas during the operation and taken to hospital for treatment.

Initial reports about Palestinian deaths during the gunfight have not been confirmed, the mayor of Jenin said.

Israeli media reported that soldiers came under heavy fire during the arrest raid, with an Israeli soldier moderately injured in the gun battle.

Israeli new site Ynet reported that the soldier was injured by friendly fire.

Large backup forces were reported in the area, including bulldozers and an Israeli army helicopter, to evacuate the injured soldier.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she could only confirm “ongoing activity” in Jenin, without providing any further details.

Violent clashes during overnight raids were also reported in the city of al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the central West Bank. MAANNEWS

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