west bank jenin israel military vehicle
Israeli military vehicles drive down a road during a raid in the occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp on November 16, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Jenin:  The Israeli army said Friday it killed at least five militants in the occupied West Bank, as Hamas admitted a number of its fighters were killed in the overnight raid.

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel, there has been a dramatic rise in violence in the West Bank, where the Israeli army has stepped up incursions targeting militant groups.

Israeli forces carried out an operation overnight Thursday-Friday in a refugee camp in Jenin - a city in the north of the West Bank, long considered a centre of militant activity.

“An armed terrorist cell that fired at Israeli security forces was struck by a (military) aircraft,” a statement said.

“Terrorists who fired and hurled explosive devices at the security forces were neutralised,” it added. “In total, at least five terrorists were killed”.

Hamas, an Islamist movement with an armed wing, said three of its fighters were killed.

The movement nearly six weeks ago surged out of the Gaza Strip and killed 1,200 people - mostly civilians - and seizing around 240 hostages, according to Israel.

In retaliation for the October 7 attacks, Israel launched bombardments and a ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza, which authorities in the Hamas-run territory says have killed at least 11,500 people, mostly civilians.

The Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah also said three people had been killed in the Jenin raid, with 15 more wounded, four in critical condition.