Palestinian Authority freezes Israel security ties over deadly West Bank raid

Palestinian Authority freezes Israel security ties over deadly West Bank raid

Israeli commandos killed seven gunmen and two civilians in a raid on a flashpoint town in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, stirring fear of further flare-ups after the largest single death toll in years of fighting. In response, the Palestinian Authority said it was freezing its security coordination with Israel, which is widely credited with helping to keep order in the West Bank and preventing attacks against Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was not looking to escalate the situation, though he ordered security forces "to prepare for all scenarios in the various sectors."

UN and Arab mediators spoke to Israel and Palestinian factions to try to keep the clash in Jenin, among areas of the West Bank that have seen intensified Israeli operations, from sparking a broader confrontation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank next week to discuss the situation.

Israel's military said it sent special forces into Jenin to detain members of the Islamic Jihad armed group suspected of having carried out and planning "multiple major terror attacks", shooting several of them after they opened fire.

Islamic Jihad said two of its men died battling the unusually deep raid on Jenin's refugee camp, a militant bastion.

Four slain gunmen were claimed by Hamas, another by an armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction.

The two other dead were a civilian man and woman, local residents said.

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