Israel Launches Biggest Military Operation on Jenin in West Bank Since 2002

July 3, 2023

Israeli forces launched its largest military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin since 2002. 

About 1,000 Israeli soldiers, backed by drone strikes, stormed the city. The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least eight people were killed in Jenin while more than 50 others are injured, including at least 10 in critical condition.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) called the action an “extensive counterterrorism effort” targeting “terrorist infrastructure.”

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the operation would continue indefinitely. 

“We’ll do it as long as it is needed; there is no timeline on this right now,” he told reporters.

Though Jenin has been targeted by frequent commando-style Israeli raids for more than a year so far, the use of air power and a brigade-size force marked a significant escalation in the West Bank’s northern region. 

Troops remained inside the Jenin refugee camp at midday Monday as growing domestic pressure for a strong response to a series of attacks on Israeli settlers, including an attack last month by a Palestinian gunman that killed four Israelis.

The Palestinians and neighboring Jordan and Egypt, as well as the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned the violence. The United Arab Emirates, which established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, said in a harshly-worded statement that the UAE “strongly condemned the attacks by the Israeli occupation forces.”

Lynn Hastings, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine, tweeted Monday that she was “alarmed” by the scale of Israeli forces in Jenin, adding that access “to all injured must be ensured.”

PHOTO: Israeli attack on Jenin, January 2023 per United Nations

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