Five Palestinians were killed and more than 90 wounded during the Israeli army’s raid today in Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, where fierce clashes raged for several hours.

Eight soldiers were wounded by Palestinian gunfire during the raid, which was aimed at arresting two terror attack suspects.

The operation began around 4am and ended shortly after 3pm. An AFP photographer described clashes of rare intensity and saw an Israeli helicopter fire two missiles, something that had not happened in many years.

According to a Palestinian Intelligence source, it was the first time an Israeli military helicopter fired missiles at Jenin since the end of the second intifada (2000-2005).

Israeli forces met stiff resistance, and in some cases an Apache helicopter was called in to extricate soldiers under fire.

After the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, in the afternoon, a large number of Palestinians took to the streets of Jenin for the funerals of the victims. Israeli fire killed a 15-year-old boy and four men (aged 19-29), three of whom were reportedly Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters. Another 91 Palestinians were injured, including 23 who are in serious condition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Palestinian journalists complained that Israeli soldiers fired on them, even though they were wearing recognizable blue vests marked PRESS. In a video from the roof of a building in Jenin, where journalists had taken refuge, one of them says they were under fire from Israeli snipers.

The head of the Red Crescent in Jenin, Mahmoud al-Saadi, told Reuters that two ambulances had come under Israeli fire.

A statement from the Israeli army emphasized that its forces do not open fire on civilians and that live fire is used only after all other options have been exhausted.

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Venesland, urged Israelis and Palestinians to show restraint and start a dialogue.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich argued that the Netanyahu government should launch a large-scale operation in Jenin, Nablus and other West Bank areas to prevent future attacks by Palestinian extremists. “It’s time to throw down the gloves,” he said characteristically suggesting a fight without rules.

“There are no compromises in the fight against terrorism,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallad said, adding that he will use all the means at his disposal.