“IDF forces are currently encircling the refugee camp from all directions as part of a ‘brigade-level’ operation,” said IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari. “We have no intention of occupying the refugee camp, and this is not an operation against the Palestinian Authority. We will create a sequence of operations in the northern part of the West Bank,” he added.
The assault in Jenin began with an attack on a terrorist command center that was deliberately placed among UNRWA facilities such as a school and a food distribution center.
A major counterterror operation was widely anticipated by Israelis and Palestinians alike as Palestinian terror mounted in northern Samaria. Since the beginning of 2023, 24 people have been killed in terror attacks.
On June 19, an unusually large IED wounded seven soldiers on their way out of Jenin following an arrest operation, requiring the IDF to call in gunship support to extract them. On June 22, the IDF also carried out a targeted assassination of three terrorists in Samaria via a drone strike, a tactic not seen in Judea and Samaria in 20 years. That incident was followed on June 26 by the first-ever launch of a homemade rocket from Jenin.
Harari did not say how long the current operation will last, only that there will be a series of operations carried out across northern Samaria according to two criteria:
Israeli political leaders from across the spectrum weighed in on the Jenin activities on Monday morning.Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said, “We have begun to change direction in our fight against terror and to work with God’s help to restore Israeli deterrence and security.”
National Unity chairman MK Benny Gantz also voiced support for the operation, stating: “I support the security forces who are determinedly and professionally operating at the moment in Jenin against the terror which has reared its head. We are all one front against terror. Any resolute and responsible action by the government will receive full support.”
The Palestinian terror factions issued a joint statement saying that “the continuation of the aggression against Jenin will determine the nature of the response by the resistance.”
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesperson called the Israeli operation a “new war crime.”
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
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