An Israeli soldier was shot and killed in Jenin on Tuesday evening, as IDF forces began withdrawing from the Samaria city following a two-day counterterrorism operation.
The military said the soldier, a non-commissioned officer from the Egoz commando unit, received treatment at the scene before being evacuated to an Israeli hospital, where he was declared dead.
“The IDF sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and will continue to support them,” said the military.
During the initial withdrawal, the military conducted an airstrike targeting Palestinian gunmen located at a cemetery on the outskirts of Jenin.
The terrorists “posed a threat to security forces as they left the [Jenin] refugee camp,” said the IDF.
The military launched the major counterterror operation in Jenin in the early hours of Monday, including the entry into the Samaria city of significant ground forces.
Over 1,000 IDF troops participated in the campaign, which is believed to be the largest deployment in Judea and Samaria in two decades.
The military said on Tuesday its forces had killed 18 Palestinians, all of them terrorists.
Israeli troops arrested well over 100 wanted terror suspects.
During nearly 48 hours of fighting, IDF troops located and demolished at least eight weapon storage sites, six bomb-making labs, three “war rooms” and other terror assets.
The IDF also carried out some 20 drone strikes against various targets.
The premier also spoke about Tuesday afternoon’s terror attack in Tel Aviv, where a Palestinian drove his car into pedestrians at a bus stop on Pinchas Rosen Street in the northeastern Ramat Hahayal neighborhood.
Hamas said that Halilah was a member of the Gaza-based terror group and praised the attack as a “heroic” response to the military operation in Jenin.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday that the Jenin operation had restored Israel’s freedom to act against terrorist groups throughout Judea and Samaria.
“It will take a little more time until we reach a situation where, as a result of having engaged militarily in Jenin in recent days, we will be able to move anywhere, in the refugee camp or anywhere else, with a team of soldiers, and not with an entire brigade,” Gallant said.
The comments echoed those of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who earlier Tuesday said that Israeli forces now “know how to enter where we want, when we need and when we choose.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)
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