Live: Jenin raid ends with 12 Palestinians and an Israeli dead
Good morning MEE readers,
Last night, Israel's two-day assault on the Jenin refugee camp ended, according to the Israeli army, with troops withdrawing and leaving a trail of devastation.
As Israeli troops left just after midnight, returning residents described finding chaos, with roads torn up and buildings reduced to rubble.
At least 12 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Almost a third of the refugee camp, around 4,000 Palestinians, fled their homes, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
As Israel withdrew its forces last night one Israeli soldier was killed.
Around 1,000 Israel soldiers were used in the operation, which saw attack helicopters being used alongside drones, fighter jets and heavy weapons, resulting in numerous properties being damaged or destroyed.
Hours after Israeli forces began withdrawing from Jenin, five rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel including the city of Sderot. No injuries were reported.
Israel’s attack on Jenin was one of Israel’s largest assaults in the West Bank in almost 20 years.
The Israeli army carried out at least 20 drone strikes in the refugee camp.
Israel’s raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin has killed at least 12 Palestinians as the military targeted the refugee camp and hospitals in the area, in what is one of the biggest military operations in the West Bank in years.
The offensive was widely described as one of the worst Israeli attacks on Jenin in two decades.
The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry confirmed two deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of Palestinians killed to at least 12.
During its raid, Israeli forces also targeted hospitals, medical staff and ambulance units, according to Palestinian health minister May al-Kaila.
The minister said that Israeli forces raided the Jenin Public Hospital and opened fire, leaving three people wounded. They also raided the Ibn Sina Hospital, Kaila added.
In addition to hospitals, a Catholic church and mosque were also damaged in the raid. Photos shared online showed the church’s windows smashed, and the exterior showing evidence of damage.
Several news reports citing Israeli sources stated that Israel was beginning to withdraw on Tuesday, while Palestinian media outlets are reporting sporadic clashes with Israeli forces.
“Israeli forces have started withdrawing from Jenin camp,” an army spokesman told AFP late on Tuesday night, without offering further details.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the operation was not a one-time event, adding that Israel would “continue as long as necessary” to engage in military operations in Jenin.
Israel’s increasing use of sophisticated military hardware in the occupied West Bank, including drones and Apache attack helicopters has been met with a muted response from the Biden administration, underlining Washington’s lack of red lines as violence in the region escalates.
The raid on Jenin is a culmination of weeks of military strikes that have seen Israel deploy ever more heavy weaponry in the occupied West Bank.
“The US clearly has no red lines when it comes to Israel’s use of force,” Marwa Maziad, an expert on US-Arab-Israeli relations, at the University of Maryland told MEE.
In June, helicopter gunships were dispatched to the occupied West Bank for the first time in nearly 20 years after an Israeli troop carrier was hit by what the military called a “pretty advanced” improvised explosive device (IED).
Just two days later, Israel killed two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement's military branch and a Fatah military leader in a drone strike near Jenin.
Some experts have said the US is concerned that Israel’s introduction of armed drones into the occupied West Bank has the potential to loosen rules of engagement and inflame tensions further, but analysts tell Middle East Eye that Israel’s deadly raid on Jenin shows it's a muted issue for the Biden administration.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry has said that the death toll of the Israeli military's raid on Jenin has now risen to 12 Palestinians.
The ministry did not provide immediately provide details on the circumstances of the new death.
The United Nations Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Friday following Israel’s military operation in the Palestinian city of Jenin.
The United Arab Emirates requested the meeting “in light of the alarming developments in Palestine,” diplomats said according to Reuters.
A joint statement issued by 12 American Jewish groups on Monday blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
"As leaders of the American Jewish community, we cannot and will not stand idly by," Haaretz reported the statement as saying, which was signed by groups including the Union for Reform Judaism, the New Israel Fund, J Street and the National Council for Jewish Women.
The groups expressed their "growing anguish and horror" over the recent wave of violent attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.
This violence "has not come from nowhere, but is aligned with the Netanyahu government's broader agenda of settlement expansion, deepening of occupation and displacement of Palestinians", the groups said.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu bears ultimate responsibility for the policies deployed in the West Bank on his watch and for the chilul hashem, or desecration of God's name, that has been unleashed in the form of these despicable violent attacks."
Israeli forces began to withdraw late on Tuesday from the Palestinian city of Jenin after carrying out one of the biggest military operations in the occupied West Bank in years, several news outlets reported citing Israeli sources.
"Israeli forces have started withdrawing from Jenin camp," an army spokesman told AFP late on Tuesday night, without offering further details.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the operation in Jenin was not a one-time occurrence, and that Israel would "continue as long as necessary" to engage in military operations in Jenin.
The latest raid, which began on Monday, killed 11 Palestinians and left scores wounded. Israeli forces also targeted several hospitals in the area with teargas and live rounds of ammunition.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that the military would be able to "duplicate and copy" the operation in Jenin and target anyone who "tries to harm Israeli citizens".
"We will follow him to his home, to his bedroom, arrest him and bring him to justice," he said.
Middle East Eye reports from a hospital in Jenin as Israeli forces continue their raid in the occupied West Bank city, including targeting and firing near hospitals.
"We were at Jenin Government Hospital when the Israeli army attacked it with tear gas fired from soldiers and from drones," said Middle East Eye correspondent Latifeh Abdellatif.
"Tear gas was fired at least six times into the hospital despite patients being there who could be affected by the gas inhalation."
Abdellatif said that shortly after firing tear gas, Israeli forces fired live rounds in the vicinity of the hospital, which wounded at least three people. She added that there were similar attacks near Ibn Sina Hospital.
"There were many cases of people choking that were treated at the scene and some were taken to urgent care," she said.
You can read more of Abdellatif's reporting here.
Palestinian health minister May al-Kaila said in a statement that Israeli forces are increasingly targeting hospitals, medical staff and ambulance units.
Kaila said Israeli forces raided the Jenin Public Hospital and opened fire, leaving three people wounded. They also raided the Ibn Sina Hospital, she added.
"This aggression is an affront to international law and [demonstrates] an insistence on killing [Palestinians]," she said.
Israeli forces also targeted the public hospital with tear gas canisters on Tuesday afternoon, according to local media, with videos showing people fleeing from the facility as smoke billowed around the building.
The Khalil Suleiman and Amal hospitals were also attacked.
Kaila said the Israeli military has repeatedly obstructed and prevented Palestinian ambulance crews from reaching the wounded.
The South African chapter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is calling on the country to implement a boycott of Israel and to prosecute South Africans that have served in Israel's military forces.
The statement comes after the Israeli military launched its latest raid on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank during the early hours of Monday.
"Our government claims to uphold the tenets of international law so we await decisive action from South Africa in the UN, calling for the reinstatement of the anti-apartheid mechanisms towards international sanctions and an arms embargo against apartheid Israel," said Roshan Dadoo, coordinator of the South Africa BDS Coalition.
"We further demand that our government declare the apartheid Israeli ambassador in Pretoria persona non grata and break off diplomatic and all other relations," she said.
The coalition said in a statement that South Africa "has a moral and ethical duty to act against the impunity of the apartheid settler-colonial Israeli state and support the Palestinian people resisting [the] illegal occupation and the war crimes being committed against them".
South Africa has a law stipulating that its citizens are not allowed to "engage in mercenary activity" or provide "foreign military assistance to any state" unless special authorisation is granted. Anyone who violates this law is subject to jail time.
There have been several cases brought by Palestinians to the National Prosecuting Authority against South Africans serving in the Israeli military.
The death toll of Israel's raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin has risen to 11 Palestinians after a Palestinian youth died on Tuesday.
Abd al-Rahman Sa'abneh succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday after being wounded by live bullets fired by Israeli soldiers in Jenin, according to Palestinian news outlets.
Both a Latin church and a mosque have suffered damage following Israel’s large-scale raid of Jenin.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement confirming that the church was targeted in the offensive.
Photos shared online showed the church’s windows smashed, and the exterior showing evidence of damage.
"Jenin city is facing an unprecedented Israeli aggression that targets people and land," Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa said in a statement.
“The Latin Parish in the city has suffered damage from this aggression,” he added.
The Al-Ansar mosque was also targeted by Israeli forces on Monday, targeting Palestinians who stayed in the mosque overnight.
The mosque, which is located in the Al-Damaj neighbourhood, was being used by people seeking safety amidst the bombardment.
Eyewitnesses said that live fire and tear gas were being used in the mosque premises, and that bulldozers excavating around the mosque had also contributed to the damage.
The Palestinian health ministry says that over 100 people have sustained serious injuries as a result of Israel’s offensive in Jenin. Around 20 of those injured have been described as being in "serious condition".
According to local media, Israeli forces are still in the Jenin camp, with live fire targeting homes and people.
Tear gas has also been fired at crowds outside Jenin’s main hospital, with no indication of how long the offensive will last.
The Red Crescent says that over 500 families have been evacuated from the camp so far.
Residents and eyewitnesses in the Jenin camp say that people have had no access to basic resources for a second day now, following Israel’s offensive.
“We have been left with no water and no electricity, it’s impossible to contact anyone left in the camp,” an eyewitness told us.
Over 3,000 people have been displaced from Jenin so far, yet the camp has been completely closed off, with an unknown number of people still left in it.
MEE’s correspondent on the ground also says that Israeli forces are entering peoples’ homes and carrying out arrests, leaving people in a state of fear.
Rishi Sunak, the UK’s prime minister, urged Israel to protect Palestinian civilians on Tuesday, as Israeli forces continue the offensive in Jenin for a second day.
“We would say the protection of civilians must be prioritised in any military operation, and we urge the IDF to demonstrate restraint in its operation and for all parties to avoid further escalation in both the West Bank and Gaza, both now and in the days ahead."
Sunak also stated that the UK calls on Israel to “adhere to principles of necessity and proportionality when defending their legitimate security interests".