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IDF Won't Say If Jenin Mosque Was Hit By Fighter Jet Strike

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht refused to say Sunday if a fighter jet was involved in the rare airstrike on a mosque in Jenin.

Israeli media reported Sunday that the strike did come from a jet, in what would be the first fighter jet strike in the West Bank in nearly two decades.

"All I can say is it was an aerial strike", Hecht told reporters. He said it was the first IDF aerial strike of any kind in the West Bank since a June incursion into Jenin began with one.

A local resident interviewed by Reuters mentioned a drone, but it is unclear from his comment whether he saw where the strike came from.

Hecht suggested the strike was carefully targeted. "You will see the mosque is still intact but we took out the terrorists", he said of Sunday's attack.

Video from the scene showed two holes in the mosque roof and rubble inside, but the building and its minaret are still standing.

The Israeli military said it launched the strike early Sunday to thwart what it called "an imminent terror attack".

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it viewed the strike on the mosque in a refugee camp in the city of Jenin as a "dangerous escalation".

"The Ministry views with great seriousness the bombing of the Jenin camp yesterday, and considers it a dangerous escalation using warplanes, resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties and terrorizing them, including children and women", the ministry said in a statement following the airstrike.

It labeled the strike as "an attempt to generalize the model of bombing the Gaza Strip to areas in the occupied West Bank".



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