Middle East Monitor / January 27, 2023
Over the course of four hours, the Israeli Army carried out a large-scale military operation in the Jenin refugee camp, northern West Bank, which left nine fatalities, dozens of wounded and great damage to buildings and property.
Residents and officials told Anadolu that the camp witnessed a “real battle” carried out by the Israeli army, during which live bullets, missiles, drones and armoured vehicles were used.
The Israeli military operation caused damage to the camp’s infrastructure, destroying buildings and vehicles.
The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that “the Israeli aggression on Jenin” since Thursday morning has left “nine deaths, including an elderly woman, and 20 injuries, including four in serious condition.”
“The scene in the camp takes us back to the year 2002, when the camp was subjected to a massive military operation that resulted in the demolition of most of its homes,” Assem Muslim, a resident of the camp, told Anadolu.
“For four hours, the sounds of bullets and explosions did not stop. The camp witnessed a real battle,” he added.
In April 2002, during Israel’s “Operation Defensive Shield”, 52 residents died in the Jenin refugee camp, according to a UN report at the time.
The Factional Coordination Committee in Jenin declared a general strike and mourning throughout the Governorate, while demonstrations took place in several Governorates in the West Bank.
Zahida Al-Solmi, an eyewitness of Thursday’s Israeli attack, told Anadolu that “at exactly seven o’clock (0600GMT), we noticed that there was a Special Force that arrived at the camp through a dairy transport refrigerator vehicle, and surrounded a house.”
“The Israeli Forces opened fire on the house and fired several missiles,” she added.
The woman, who stood in shock in front of her house after it was completely destroyed, said “the medical staff recovered four bodies from inside the house after the withdrawal of the Israeli Forces.”
Other eyewitnesses told Anadolu that they saw an Israeli military bulldozer run over a Palestinian vehicle, in cold blood, with an injured person inside.
Targeting medical personnel
“The Israeli Army targeted medical personnel and prevented ambulances from entering the camp during the operation,” Palestinian Health Minister, Mai Al-Kaila, said in a statement.
She said the Occupation Forces stormed Jenin Governmental Hospital, and deliberately fired tear gas canisters at the paediatric department in the hospital, causing children to suffocate.
Deputy Governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu Al-Rub, accused the Israeli authorities of committing a massacre in the Jenin camp.
“What happened in Jenin is the largest invasion since 2002, an official massacre,” he told Anadolu.
“The scene is similar to the devastation left by the Israeli massacres in 1948, during the Nakba,” he added.
The Nakba Day is marked by the Palestinian people on 15 May of every year to remember the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and areas in 1948 after the founding of Israel.
He pointed out that the Israeli authorities are seeking to eliminate the Palestinian Resistance in Jenin.
“Humans, property, and even children were not spared,” he added.
“The forces deliberately kill. They shoot indiscriminately.”
Palestinian presidency condemns
The spokesman for the Palestinian Presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said: “Israel is committing its crimes against our people in light of the impotence and silence of the international community,” according to the official Palestine TV.
“The international silence is what encourages the Occupation to commit more massacres, it continues to disregard the lives of our people, and tamper with security and stability through its policy of escalation,” he added.
“Our people are steadfast and will not give up Jerusalem and the sanctities, regardless of the crimes and massacres committed by the Occupying Forces,” the spokesman noted.
Abu Rudeineh called on the international community to take urgent action to protect the Palestinian people.