Israeli troops concluded a brutal raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on 17 November, killing at least five, injuring over a dozen, and laying siege to several hospitals in the city. The raid began on Thursday evening and extended into the following day. Dozens of military vehicles stormed the city as troops invaded several homes and made arrests. “Dozens of armored vehicles turned up, with bulldozers as well, damaging cars, damaging the roads,” said Al-Jazeera correspondent Sara Khairat. Heavy clashes erupted between the army and resistance fighters. In a statement around midnight, the Jenin branch of Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, announced that fighters were “engaged in heroic armed clashes alongside all resistance factions in the camp, targeting the occupation army with heavy barrages of bullets and explosive devices.”
Since March 2022, Israeli forces have regularly raided the Jenin refugee camp, and the camp’s resistance fighters have not let up in the defense of their home. The intensity of these armed confrontations has increased day by day as the fighters target the invading Israeli military forces. This has not changed since the events of October 7. One of the largest Israeli invasions of the camp was on June 19 this year, when the camp’s resistance factions blew up Israel’s state-of-the-art armored personnel carrier, “the Panther,” causing the Israeli forces to call for backup and air support from an Apache helicopter.
The deadly Israeli invasion of Jenin on July 3 was not a surprise. Also unsurprising is the fact that the killing of 12 Palestinians, wounding of 120 more and the destruction of nearly 80 percent of the Jenin Refugee Camp’s homes and infrastructure will not make an iota of a difference. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite his lofty promises of destroying the “safe haven … of the terrorist enclave in Jenin”, must have known that his bloody exercise was ultimately futile. Indeed, as the Israeli military machine was toppling homes, smashing cars and harvesting lives, several Palestinian retaliatory attacks were reported, including in Tel Aviv on July 4 and in the Kedumim illegal settlement on July 6.
As Israel’s 48-hour onslaught on the Jenin refugee camp last week entered its denouement, former Israeli Brigadier General Tamir Hayman discussed the operation’s objectives during an INSS podcast. He came away with two primary aims: the restoration of the Israeli army’s “operational freedom” — the ability of the army to enter any part of the West Bank unchallenged and unmolested by resistance — and, most notably, to facilitate the conditions for the return of the Palestinian Authority to the camp. Hayman couched his explanation in the language of desiring to ameliorate the “lack of efficiency” of the PA in containing “the cycle of revenge” perpetuated by the Palestinian resistance, meaning that the army would have to go in and undercut the influence of the resistance groups by taking out their so-called infrastructure (their ability to manufacture IEDs and other means of resistance).
The recent bombardment and attacks in Jenin have grabbed international attention on the news. Many mainstream news outlets have accepted the occupiers framing at face value, but we’re not afraid to call it what it is – ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, dozens injured and 11 Palestinians murdered. Infrastructure was destroyed, electricity cut off and roads wrecked by bulldozers, preventing ambulances entering the refugee camp and giving aid to those wounded. This is more proof that the Nakba is not an event but an ongoing process that will only end when Palestine is free, from the river to the sea.
On June 19, a large Israeli military force raided the northern Palestinian town and refugee camp of Jenin from multiple directions. Not only did the raid fail, it backfired, and it also created a precedent in Israel’s decades-long war on the ever-rebellious Palestinian region. Israel killed eight Palestinians and wounded 91 more, following hours of clashes involving Israeli soldiers, on the one hand, and unified Palestinian Resistance groups, on the other. Israel only admitted to the wounding of eight of its soldiers, with some Israeli media outlets speaking of critical injuries among the invading troops and others claiming only moderate wounds.