September 23, 2023

Israeli Army Launches Extensive West Bank Operation, Clashes with Jenin Brigades

In a major military operation, the Israeli army launched a series of drone attacks on Jenin city, marking their most extensive West Bank operation in two decades. The clashes resulted in the deaths of at least eight Palestinians, as sounds of explosions and gunfire reverberated throughout the city. The Israeli troops confronted the Jenin Brigades, a unit composed of residents from the crowded refugee base camps in the area.

Jenin, an area densely populated with nearly 14,000 refugees in less than half a square kilometer, witnessed the presence of at least six drones circling above the city and the nearby camps. The intense aerial strikes targeted the camp, leading to a surge in injured individuals requiring medical attention. One Palestinian ambulance driver described the situation as a “real war,” with ambulances shuttling back and forth filled with casualties.

The escalating violence across the West Bank, including violent attacks by Palestinians against Israelis and retaliatory actions by Jewish settler mobs against Palestinian villages, has raised concerns among various governments. However, this ongoing unrest has yet to pave the way for the resumption of long-stalled political talks that have been on hold for nearly a decade. Army raids in cities like Jenin have become distressingly frequent over the past year.

The Israeli military stated that the drone attacks were carried out precisely, using small payloads to target a structure housing the command center of the Jenin Brigades fighters. The objective of the mission was to demolish infrastructure and hinder extremists from exploiting the refugee camp as a base for carrying out acts of terrorism.

During the operation, the Jenin municipality reported that Israeli armored bulldozers dug up roads within the camp to uncover hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The residents also witnessed the disruption of water and electricity supplies, while soldiers reportedly smashed through walls as they moved from house to house.

A military spokesperson acknowledged that the escalating scale of violence necessitated the use of drone strikes in the West Bank for the first time since 2006. The spokesperson further stated that the operation’s duration could range from hours to days, emphasizing the military’s focus on achieving its goals.

The ongoing clashes in Jenin highlight the deep-rooted tensions and complex dynamics prevailing in the region, underscoring the challenges in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The situation calls for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to address the underlying grievances and work towards a sustainable and lasting peace in the region.