Israeli strike kills Palestinian militant in West Bank

People search the rubble of a building hit by bombardment at the Nur Shams refguee camp in the occupied West Bank (Zain JAAFAR)
People search the rubble of a building hit by bombardment at the Nur Shams refguee camp in the occupied West Bank (Zain JAAFAR)

Palestinian officials said an Israeli strike on Sunday in the occupied West Bank killed a man identified by a militant group as one of its commanders, with the Israeli military confirming it had targeted a "wanted terrorist".

Palestinian official news agency Wafa said the strike was carried out with a drone that hit a house in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the town of Tulkarm in northern West Bank.

The Ramallah-based health ministry said a Palestinian man was killed and five other people were wounded "following a strike by the (Israeli) occupation".

Wafa identified the slain man as Saeed Izzat Jaber, 24.

Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad later said "the martyred leader" was one of its commanders, adding that he had previously "survived several assassination attempts".

Jaber's killing "will strengthen our resistance" against Israel, the group said.

The Israeli military said in a statement that its forces had struck an apartment used by "wanted terrorists" in the Tulkarm area.

"Saeed Jaber, a terrorist operative responsible for directing terror activities... was in the residence," it said.

The military accused Jaber of direct involvement in several "shooting and explosives attacks against civilians and Israeli forces" in that area of the West Bank, saying he was also "linked" to the June 22 shooting death of an Israeli man near the city of Qalqilya.

The targeted apartment "served as a hub for terrorist activities, including preparing explosive devices and providing shelter to wanted terrorists," the statement said.

According to Wafa, the Israeli military had fired three projectiles from a drone at a house in the camp.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its crews were treating two people wounded from "shrapnel following a strike on a house in the Nur Shams camp".

The organisation added that rescuers were initially unable to enter the targeted building "due to fire".

An AFP correspondent later saw Nur Shams residents searching through the rubble, while blocks of concrete slabs lay scattered as a portion of the house was ripped off by the strike.

Even before the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip broke out on October 7, the West Bank saw a surge of violence which has since escalated to levels unseen in about two decades, with frequent military raids and attacks by Israeli settlers.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

At least 554 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli forces or settlers since the Gaza war began, according to Palestinian officials.

Attacks by Palestinians in the West Bank over the same period have killed at least 15 Israelis including soldiers, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.