Israeli Defense Forces Target 'Terrorist Stronghold' in West Bank City of Jenin, 8 Palestinians Killed

Footage of the Jenin Camp in the West Bank. (Credit: Twitter/IDF)

Early Monday morning, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered the West Bank city of Jenin with approximately 1,000 soldiers backed by drone strikes. The IDF announced the action on Twitter as it was unfolding.


Per the IDF, “The Jenin Camp is a terrorist stronghold. We will not standby idle while terrorists continue to harm civilians using Jenin Camp as a hideout.”

The action, characterized as “the most expansive Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank in two decades,” is aimed at addressing the city’s role as a base of operations for terrorists who’ve launched attacks on Israelis.

The assaults marked the start of an “extensive counterterrorism effort” centered on the densely populated Jenin refugee camp, according to Israeli officials, and were ongoing as of Monday afternoon local time. At least eight people were killed and 50 injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, with 10 in critical condition. The Israel Defense Forces said the operation would continue indefinitely.

“We’ll do it as long as it is needed; there is no timeline on this right now,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an IDF spokesman, told reporters. Another Palestinian was shot and killed by soldiers near the city of Ramallah while protesting the Jenin attack.

Gunfire, drones and explosions were reported by Jenin residents and in videos posted on social media. Residents reported receiving text messages from Israeli numbers that warned them to stay inside for their protection. Separate messages directed at militants advised them to “surrender yourself for your safety and the safety of those around you.”


Tensions in the area have been escalating in recent months.

The use of air power and a brigade-size force in the assault represents a significant military escalation in the northern West Bank, which has been targeted by frequent commando-style Israeli raids this year. The clashes have grown more intense in recent months; among them was a firefight in Jenin on June 19 that killed five Palestinians. A U.S.-built Apache helicopter gunship was used to help evacuate Israeli soldiers caught inside the camp, the first time Israel had turned to air power in the West Bank since the uprising known as the second intifada in the early 2000s. Later that night, Israel carried out its first drone strike in the West Bank since 2006, killing three suspected militants.

The crowded and impoverished Jenin camp, a sprawling warren in the center of the city, is largely unpoliced by Palestinian Authority security forces and is known as a hub for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other armed factions.

Militants there have deployed roadside explosives and last week attempted to fire a crude rocket into Israel, though it failed quickly after launch. The IDF said a rocket launcher and hundreds of improvised explosive devices were confiscated by troops on Monday.


Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, addressed the operation on Twitter shortly after it began.

The @IDF launched an operation against Palestinian terror infrastructure in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Over the past two years, Jenin has become a major hub of terrorism and an Iranian stronghold close to Israeli population centers. Most of the terror attacks against Israelis originated from Jenin. No nation would sit idly by as terrorists strike its citizens.

While the action continues in Jenin, a fierce battle is also playing out on social media over how it is being characterized. Some pro-Palestinian accounts are referring to the operation as a massacre, contending that civilians are being targeted.


This isn’t Ukraine. This is Palestine. Israel continues raining bombs on Jenin, targeting houses, cars and hospitals, and committing massacres. All civilian targets. All war crimes. Yet, not a peep from Western human rights champions or the so-called international community.

Where is the international condemnation of this new war crime? The deafening silence augurs ill for international law and every people’s right to self-determination everywhere

In contrast, the IDF steadfastly maintains its sole targets are terrorist infrastructures.

Holy places, such as the Al-Nasr Mosque, should not be used as a front for terrorism. Packed with loads of ammunition, and two underground pits containing explosive devices, this is just one example of how terrorists abuse the citizens of Jenin. We will continue operating until the terrorists of Jenin are no longer a threat on the stability of the area.


This is a developing story.


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