REPORTING. In Jenin, the difficult return of the inhabitants of the refugee camp after the Israeli attack

It is time to return and to see the considerable damage suffered by the 3,000 inhabitants of Jenin, in the north of the occupied West Bank, who left their homes last week during the military operation carried out by the Israeli army. The dust is everywhere, on the ground or in suspension, raised by the hot wind, the footsteps of people, the cars and the bulldozers of the municipality which clean the streets of the refugee camp. A week ago, Israeli military bulldozers were at work. Nearly a thousand soldiers, drones and bulldozers struck for three days. Attacks that left 13 dead: 12 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.

>> What we know about the operation carried out by the Israeli army in Jenin

Osama, 21, drags a twisted wrought iron gate. “It was the gate of our house which was destroyed by a bulldozer of the occupying forceshe explains. A group of young Palestinians were there to defend their land and their neighborhood, that’s why you see so much damage. The Israelis call them terrorists, but no! They are our resistance!”

Everywhere, crushed cars, as if transformed into a ball or a cube. In front of the house of Kamle, 64, a truck underwent the same treatment. It belongs to his son, who is a mechanic. “They took the truck, bulldozed it and started playing with it like it was a soccer ball.laments Kamle. They tried to destroy the house with it, but it didn’t work, so they tossed the truck here and there. Then they destroyed the steps to our entrance, they took another compressed car and tried to destroy the walls and the front door.”

Israeli army bulldozers crushed cars and trucks in Jenin (FRÉDÉRIC MÉTÉZEAU / RADIO FRANCE)

When Israel denounces Palestinian terrorism, Mustafa Shita replies “Resistance”. The general director of the Freedom Theatre, a cultural and activist center in Jenin, justifies all the attacks. “I consider that there is not a single Israeli ‘civilian’. All Israelis serve in the Israeli army, so there is no reason to consider them ‘civilians’. No! are occupiers and we have the right to fight this occupation.”

A dwelling destroyed during the Israeli army operation.  On the right, Raja's 4-year-old daughter continues to carry her caged bird, which died two days ago.  (FREDERIC METEZEAU / RADIO FRANCE)

At Raja and his sister-in-law Hayat, a missile punctured the toilet wall. Part of the housing was blown away. With tears in his eyes, Raja shows off a black tube. She keeps the missile. “A drone shot! We keep it there for youAlways remember what happened here. The army didn’t get anywhere, it’s all up to God.” Raja’s 4-year-old daughter holds a cage in her hand. Inside, his little bird died, for lack of care when the family was sheltered. The bird with pink plumage rests at the bottom. The little girl has been refusing to let go of the cage she carries everywhere with her for two days.

The difficult return of the inhabitants of the Jenin camp, attacked by the Israeli army – Report by Frédéric Métézeau


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