Updated Jul 5, 2023 - World

Israeli forces begin withdrawal from West Bank city of Jenin

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters from an armoured vehicle during an ongoing military operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday. Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images

Israel's military launched airstrikes on Gaza and rockets were fired from the coastal Palestinian enclave early Wednesday after Israeli forces began withdrawing from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

The big picture: Israel's two-day operation that left at least 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead was one of the largest assaults on a West Bank city in nearly 20 years.

Zoom in: The Israeli Defense Forces said early Wednesday it had intercepted five rockets that were "launched from Gaza toward Israeli territory."

  • The IDF said later Wednesday morning its fighter jets had "struck an underground weapons manufacturing facility" used by Hamas and a "raw materials manufacturing facility for rockets" belonging to the group in Gaza.
  • There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Of note: There were reports of intermittent fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the Jenin refugee camp late Tuesday that delayed Israel's withdrawal, per AFP.

  • The IDF said in a statement one of its soldiers was killed by gunfire during the clashes.
  • Israeli forces said they had seized weapons and explosives during the operation that the Palestinian Red Crescent said forced the evacuation of 500 families from the camp of some 3,000 people.

What we're watching: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday "we are completing the mission, and I can say that our extensive activity in Jenin is not a one-time operation."

Zoom out: Israel's military has over the past year stepped up raids in Jenin, where Israel says several attacks against Israeli citizens have been planned and launched, per Axios' Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath.

Meanwhile, the IDF conducts near-daily raids in other Palestinian cities and towns, Gottbrath notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the Israeli airstrikes.

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