Israel announces end to 48 hour onslaught of Jenin

Thousands take to the streets to honour and bury the dead

On Wednesday Morning, 5th July in Jenin, thousands gathered to attend the funerals of those killed during two days of intense assault by Israeli armed forces. An operation of this size and sophistication has not been seen in the West Bank since the 2nd Intifada. The Israeli operation in Jenin was officially ended on Wednesday morning according to spokesperson from the Israeli military. The military operation, which began on Monday, saw the deployment of 100’s of troops, the use of air strikes, modern weaponry – kamikaze drones and military bulldozers, causing mayhem, devastation and destruction across the densely populated refugee camp of Jenin.

Jenin streets devastated during Israeli raid

Latest reports indicate that the operation resulted in the deaths of 12 mostly innocent civilians and the injury of at least 100. The Israeli army reported the death of one of its soldiers. The latest death toll adds to the 133 Palestinians killed in similar raids since the beginning of 2023.

4,000 citizens of Jenin flee to neighbouring cities

As the military operation which began on Monday, swept through Jenin, upwards of 4,000 of the camps approximately 11,000 residents were forced to flee as explosions and the sound of artillery and automatic fire dominated their surroundings. Leaving their belongings behind, citizens formed an exodus into neighbouring areas, as the military bulldozers ripped up streets and reduced homes and businesses to rubble.   Local hospitals typically under resourced and starved of desperately needed medical supplies did their best to attend to the wounded, with doctors and surgeons having to improvise to provide care in impossible circumstances. Many injured were unable to reach the hospitals as ambulances were prevented from getting through road checks put in place by the military.

International community’s mixed response

Whilst Arab countries including Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab League expressed condemnation at the brutality and the harshness of the attack by Israeli forces in Jenin, the US remained mute as did most Western governments. The United Nations, also failed to condemn the operation, although it urged all sides to observe international humanitarian law.

On Monday UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq’s spokesperson, addressed a press conference and said:

‘We’ve always said that it is not acceptable for there to be armed attacks in areas of high population density, and that’s the case… All parties need to abide by international humanitarian law… Although Israel is able to carry out security operations, it has to do so in such a way that avoids civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure’

The US spokesperson for the White House Security Council issued a brief statement on Tuesday, which said:

‘We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups’

This was followed later the same day with a statement from a US State Department spokesperson:

‘It is imperative to take all possible precautions to prevent the loss of civilian lives…[Israel has a] right to defend its people’


Arab countries response in stark contrast to the West

In contrast, statements of condemnation against the ‘criminal operation’ poured in from Arab countries and the Arab League.

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit referred to the raid as:

‘a brutal military operation”  adding that: “The bombing of cities and camps by planes and the bulldozing of houses and roads is a collective punishment and revenge

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement:

‘[Egypt issues a] complete rejection of the repeated Israeli attacks and incursions against Palestinian cities, resulting in innocent civilian casualties due to the use of excessive and indiscriminate force, and a flagrant violation of the provisions of international law and international legitimacy, especially the International humanitarian law that imposes clear and concise commitments’

Nasser Kanaani, the spokesperson form the Iranian Foreign Ministry described the operation as a:

reckless crime and a prominent measure of state terrorism’ adding that ‘the Zionist entity will be defeated this time as well… The continuing crimes of the Zionist entity have proven once again that normalisation with the Zionist entity will not stop the Zionist killing machine, nor will it deter it or affect it’

Sinan al-Majali, the Jordanian foreign ministry spokesperson said the Israeli offensive:

constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law and obligations of the [Israeli] occupation

 ‘They have already been ethnically cleansed by Israel 70 years ago and they go after them again, and again, and again’

Ambassador Husum Zomlot, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, speaking on CNN, Wednesday said in response the Israeli attack:

 ‘This is not the first of such an aggression. Nablus has seen the same fate only a couple of weeks ago, Jerusalem before it, the bombardment of Gaza. This is constant. Netanyahu and his far-right coalition are on an onslaught against the Palestinian people. The very goal of all this is to crush any Palestinian resistance, survival, resilience, steadfastness and protest against Israel’s illegality…unfortunately, Israel has failed to learn a lesson, nor the international community, nor the US administration. Bullets and rockets and drones will not really solve the issues. Only answering people’s legitimate rights will do so. This is very unfortunate to see more war crimes, more collective punishment – destroying the infrastructure of a refugee camp. Those people are already refugees – they have already been ethnically cleansed by Israel 70 years ago and they go after them again, and again, and again.’  


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