Israel-Gaza war: Face to face with a defiant fighter who vows Hamas won't stop the violence

Israeli forces have conducted drone airstrikes and engaged in major gun battles in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

Several suspected Hamas fighters have been killed, in what the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said was an operation to locate improvised explosive devices planted by terrorists.

It comes just a day after a Sky News team travelled to Jenin, where they met a Hamas fighter who vowed they would not stop their violence - and said they fully supported the 7 October attacks.

The war in Gaza has come to the West Bank, and Jenin refugee camp is at the centre of it. The IDF is conducting almost daily raids there, clashing with newly emboldened militants who say they're stronger and better organised than ever.

Everywhere you go, there are posters celebrating the fighters. Many in the camp view them as heroes defending their own land, not terrorists killing civilians.

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'Everyone was proud and I am proud'

On the outskirts of the camp is what locals call the graveyard of martyrs - home to many who died trying to end Israeli occupation.

It's where we meet a Hamas fighter, carrying a rifle, wearing a mask, but openly defending the attacks of 7 October.

''Everyone was proud and I am proud," he tells me. "We feel that it's the first step in the way of liberating our country and the blood of our children is not wasted...

"I see it from my side, as a Palestinian. It was supposed to happen a long time before."

As someone who has spent time in the Forensic Centre in Tel Aviv, seeing images of torture and extreme brutality, it is both shocking and deeply unsettling to hear.

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Fighters emboldened by war

Like the rest of the world it seems, he too was not expecting the attacks - but pleased they took place.

"I was surprised, everybody was. No one can imagine or expect that we will reach a point that we are attacking, not only fighting back and defending."

He has been emboldened by the past month - made more defiant by the images of civilians dying in Gaza - and says he's willing to carry out attacks himself, willing to sacrifice his own life for the cause.

The fighter says "freedom" is his ultimate aim and he wants settlers removed from Israel, "to kick them out of this country".

Militant denies 7 October murders were carried out by Hamas

Despite the clear evidence that civilians were killed in the attacks one month ago, he denies those murders were carried out by Hamas - suggesting instead that the IDF did it. Others have suggested it was other militant groups there.

Everyone we speak to insists Hamas does not support the murder of civilians, and protects women and children.

It is instead, they believe, a fight with the military. But it is indisputable that civilians were killed by militants, many of whom slaughtered people in their own homes - their last terrified moments captured on cameras.

This is a community that for decades has felt marginalised, alienated and deprived.

"This is our country, our home, our land," the fighter declares. "If you read the history, we've been here 70 or 80 years."

He shows us the al Ansar Mosque. It is now all but rubble, destroyed by an Israeli airstrike. The IDF said members of Hamas were running a "terror route" underneath it and planning an "imminent terror attack".

To my surprise he admits it was their command centre, taking us to the area where they dug a tunnel to escape.

Camp erupts into violence

The day after, the camp erupted in some of the worst violence it's seen since the war began. The IDF carried out multiple airstrikes and engaged in heavy clashes.

In a statement, the IDF said it "engaged and killed an armed terrorist cell which endangered the soldiers in the area" - and located and destroyed an underground tunnel shaft containing ready-to-use explosive devices, as well as ammunition and military equipment.

It sees the refugee camp as a nest of terrorism and reportedly dropped leaflets over that read: "The IDF remains here and will return again and again until terrorism is completely eradicated. Stay away from terrorism, live in peace."

But peace feels a very, very long way off.