Middle East

7 Palestinian men killed in airstrike near Jenin

From CNN's Kareem Khadder, Abeer Salman and Lauren Izso

Seven Palestinian men were killed in an Israeli airstrike near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah said Sunday. Israel confirmed it had carried out an airstrike, calling the men “terrorists.”

Four of the dead were brothers, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Palestinian factions called a general strike in the West Bank in response to Sunday’s killings, and funeral processions for the six men were being held Sunday morning.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had been carrying out “overnight counterterrorism activity in Jenin,” but did not say who it was targeting, when one of its aircraft “struck a terrorist which hurled explosive devices at them. Six terrorists were killed in the strike.”

The IDF did not say why it identified all the victims as terrorists.

But the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said they were “engaged in clashes with bullets and explosive devices” in the Jenin camp, according to a statement by the PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades in the West Bank.

The IDF also said an Israel Border Police officer was killed when her vehicle drove over an explosive device during the operation, and that other officers were injured. The IDF identified the dead officer as Sgt. Shay Germay, and said her family has been notified.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, violence in the West Bank has been on the rise. At least 334 people have been killed by either soldiers or Israeli settlers, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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