Residents of the Jenin refugee camp fled their homes as the Israeli military pressed ahead with an operation in the area. AP

4,000 Palestinians flee Jenin refugee camp after Israeli raid kills 10; media persons attacked

Residents of the Jenin refugee camp fled their homes as the Israeli military pressed ahead with an operation in the area. AP

Thousands of Palestinians are fleeing from the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank following the Israeli army’s large-scale military operation against militants in the region. At least 10 Palestinians have been killed in raids by Israeli forces on the Palestinian city of Jenin, one of the largest incursions into the occupied West Bank in 20 years. More than 100 people were injured in the attack that included airstrikes, with the death toll likely to rise, the Palestinian health ministry said, according to the Independent.

Journalists fired upon

Journalists reporting on the military operation in the occupied West Bank say they were “directly” fired upon by Israeli forces. Video of the incident appears to show soldiers shooting at a camera and transmitter set up by Al Araby TV reporter Amid Shehadeh and video journalist Rabi Munir, setting the equipment ablaze, Wafa news agency reported. Shehadeh said the troops “directly targeted” him and his colleague with more than six bullets fired.

Five other journalists were also trapped inside a house in the camp while a fierce gun battle raged. The Jenin refugee camp is the same location where Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead last May by Israeli forces. Al Araby TV Network in a statement condemned the use of any kind of force against journalists. “We call on all colleagues, as well human rights and media organisations, to join us in expressing their unequivocal rejection of these practices and their full support for freedom of the press and the absolute necessity of guaranteeing the safety of journalists,” said Al Araby TV Network.

First responders denied access to camp

Thousands of Palestinians have fled the camp after the army launched one of its largest military operations in the region for the past two decades. The operation began in the small hours of Monday, with Israeli forces carrying out a series of drone strikes and sending hundreds of troops on an open-ended mission into a militant stronghold. A WHO spokesperson said first responders have been prevented from entering the Jenin refugee camp to treat the injured. Israel targeted what it described as a “unified command centre” for militants of the Jenin Brigades in the densely populated refugee camp in the city. Israel says its forces found explosives during a search of a mosque.

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