Israel launched an airstrike on a mosque in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian officials reported that at least two people were killed in the attack.
The Israeli military said the attack on the Al-Ansar Mosque on Sunday morning, October 22, 2023, killed several members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas and Islamic Jihad use the mosque as a command center.
Footage on social media showed extensive damage to the mosque located in the Jenin refugee camp.
Medical personnel rushed to the scene.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said two men were killed in the attack. Mahmoud Al-Saadi, director of the Red Crescent in Jenin, earlier said one person was killed and three others were injured in the attack, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. The attack in Jenin shocked residents because it is unusual for Israel to carry out airstrikes in Palestinian territory. Reporting from Al Jazeera, eyewitnesses said they saw an F fighter jet in the sky. The Israeli army then confirmed that an air strike had occurred.
After the strike, some citizens received text messages on their phones warning them against collaborating with the Jenin Brigades. This is one of the largest and most popular groups in the West Bank.
The attack occurred when Israel continued to bombard Gaza at night. Military officials vowed to step up air strikes in the enclave to minimize risks to Israeli forces ahead of a ground offensive. Israel is expected to immediately carry out a ground attack on Gaza.
At least 55 Palestinians were killed in airstrikes in the enclave overnight, the Hamas government said.
The Jenin refugee camp, inhabited by descendants of Palestinians who lost their land during Israel’s founding in 1948, was the focus of a major Israeli military offensive in July. In the attack, 14 Palestinians were killed.
Palestinian officials say at least 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the occupied territories since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Meanwhile in Gaza, Israeli attacks left 4,400 people dead.