The Israeli tanks and troops withdrew from the city about three hours later.
Israel believes that Jenin is a training ground for suicide bombers who have claimed responsibility for recent attacks, including two suicide bomb attacks that left 16 dead and dozens injured this week.
Israeli tanks also began circling the town of Bethlehem and nearby villages later this evening after gunshots were reported against a neighboring Jewish settlement.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Palestinians today that they would “lose additional assets” if violence against Israel continues.
Palestinians appealed to the United Nations for international monitors in the Mideast, while radical Palestinian groups threatened more suicide bombings. A leader of the Islamic movement Hamas responded saying that “If Sharon is going to escalate by invading cities, I believe that the Palestinians will escalate their resistance.”
The Jenin raid marks the strongest incursion into a Palestinian-controlled city in six years. Israel turned over civilian control of West Bank cities to the Palestinians in 1995, a year after the Palestinian Authority was established.
Eighty-four Palestinian suicide bombers have tried to blow themselves up at various Israeli military or civilian targets since 1993. More than a third of the incidents occurred since September 2000, when the latest uprising began.