Israeli army’s brutal operation in Jenin, a “nest of terrorists”

This is the Israeli army’s largest operation in the West Bank for several years. The soldiers started by hitting the city of Jenin (north) on Monday killing a Palestinian. The expedition in this city considered a “nest of terrorists” continued all day and then into the night from Monday to Tuesday. The death toll rose to ten dead on the Palestinian side. Update on the latest information.

A “terrorist nest”

The army said it had “neutralized” an underground well used to store explosives in Jenin. She also claimed to have targeted “terrorist infrastructure” and an “operations center” serving as a command center for the “Jenin Brigade”, a local armed group. “In addition, the soldiers located and dismantled two operations rooms belonging to terrorist organizations in the area,” she added in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our forces have entered the nest of terrorists in Jenin (…), they are destroying command centers and seizing a considerable amount of weapons,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , in a press release.

“Open War”

This is “an open war against the population in Jenin”, denounced the Palestinian Foreign Ministry. The almost deserted streets of Jenin are strewn with debris and stones, the asphalt is gutted and the roadway is blackened around improvised barricades, noted an AFP journalist. The stores remain closed.

The city of Jenin and the adjacent refugee camp, a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups, have been repeatedly targeted by Israeli operations. The northern occupied West Bank has seen a recent spate of attacks on Israelis as well as anti-Palestinian violence by Jewish settlers.

Stones against drones

Faced with drone strikes, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers, under a sky blackened by the smoke of explosions and burning barricades, noted an AFP journalist. “There are aerial bombardments and an invasion on the ground,” Mahmoud al-Saadi, director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Jenin, told AFP. Houses are “bombarded” and “smoke rises everywhere. »

Clashes also took place between soldiers and armed men in a mosque in the Jenin camp, according to the army, which said it seized weapons and explosives there. “I saw the bulldozers in the camp which destroyed houses,” Badr Shagoul, a resident, told AFP. “We received many wounded”, in particular “by bullets”, affirms Qasem Benighader, nurse of 35 years in the hospital of Jenin: “It is the worst raid for five years. »

Palestinians killed and forced to flee

According to a new report from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, ten Palestinians have been killed and 100 injured, 20 of whom are in serious condition. The fighting caused the exodus on Monday evening of “about 3,000” inhabitants of the camp, where some 18,000 Palestinians live, according to the deputy governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu al-Roub.

Officials of the Palestinian Authority, which administers Jenin, have announced a general strike. “If more Palestinian blood flows, there will also be more Israeli blood flowing,” laments Mahmoud Hawashin, resident of the Jenin camp. “All options are on the table to strike the enemy”, for its part warned the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the leader of Hamas, Ismael Haniyeh, denouncing him a “brutal” Israeli operation.

Emergency meeting on the diplomatic front

On the diplomatic front, the Arab League announced an emergency meeting on Tuesday. Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, Arab countries maintaining diplomatic ties with Israel, denounced the operation.

Washington, for its part, said it supported “Israel’s security and its right to defend its population”. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his “deep concern”.

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