Palestinian terrorist operating out of the northern Samaria city of Jenin engaged Israeli soldiers in a massive gun battle on Thursday morning that left at least nine Palestinians dead.
The soldiers had been sent into Jenin to arrest a commander of the local branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who was reportedly planning an imminent terrorist attack against Israelis.
Islamic Jihad gunmen opened fire on the Israelis, sparking an hours-long firefight. Most of the Palestinian casualties are believed to be armed terrorists, but Palestinian Authority officials claimed that at least one civilian had been killed by Israeli fire.
Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror groups are notorious for using the civilian population as human shields.
Given the severity of the battle and its outcome, Israel was bracing for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, where Islamic Jihad operates a powerful armed force under the auspices of fellow Islamic terror group Hamas.
Islamic Jihad last year launched rockets from Gaza on several occasions in response to IDF actions against its members in Judea and Samaria.
This is a developing story.
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