The IDF’s highly professional and critical operation in Jenin was an unavoidable eventuality. Though it should set back the ongoing process of transplanting to northern Samaria the modus operandi of the terror groups in the Gaza Strip, it will not be sufficient to stop it.
The trend of escalation in shootings and bombings in the sector, in addition to the recent (failed) launching of rockets at the Jewish communities on the nearby Gilboa mountain range, have clearly underscored the significance of the processes being adopted by local terrorist organizations, leaving the IDF with no other choice than to engage in action in the heart of Jenin. Israel cannot allow the development in Judea and Samaria of a similar reality to that which has taken hold in the Gaza Strip.
The ethos of resistance associated with Jenin soon became a symbol for the terrorist organizations, providing inspiration for Palestinian terrorists from all over.
The key objective of the defense establishment is to cause maximum damage to the terrorist infrastructure at minimum risk to our forces, and while avoiding any spillover of the violence into additional fronts, not to mention of course damage mitigation with regard to criticism on the diplomatic front.
Having said that, the IDF must be aware that with all due respect to the importance of these considerations, the prime consideration is that of the safety of our forces. An additional challenge facing the defense establishment, as we have seen, is of course to monitor and counter any attempts to carry out revenge attacks elsewhere.
Consequently, the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, will have to be on the alert and closely monitor the situation vis-a-vis Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.
If we add to this the inbuilt weaknesses of the P.A. (some of which have been a contributing factor to the current situation in Jenin) and the impact of the ongoing succession battles, as various rivals look to replace the aging Abbas, it is extremely difficult to be the least bit optimistic as to the chances of the Palestinian security forces preserving the IDF’s achievements during the recent operation.
The most plausible option is that, even in the aftermath of “Operation Home and Garden,” we will have to continue to root out any potential terrorist activity ourselves, in what might be termed “lawn mowing” activity. The contribution of the current operation to that will take the form of the somewhat more favorable operational conditions when future operations are undertaken by security forces.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
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