Hitting Targets in the Occupied West Bank city of Jenin
The Israeli military said Monday it was hitting targets in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin as part of an “extensive counterterrorism effort.” The effort was primarily aimed at a command center the Israeli military said was being used by militant fighters inside a refugee camp beside the city.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has said that 9 people were killed as a result of the strikes and more than 50 were injured. Ten of those wounded were critically injured, according to the ministry. The Israeli daily Haaretz cited the Israeli army as saying that one Israeli soldier was lightly wounded by grenade shrapnel and taken to a hospital.
An Israeli army spokesperson, Richard Hecht, told reporters that as many as seven militants were believed to have been killed. Hecht said that some 2,000 soldiers were taking part in the operation and that military drones had carried out a series of strikes.
According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Israeli military set up roadblocks in the camp and occupied houses and buildings, while placing snipers on rooftops. The army said it has targeted a weapons storage facility, with Haaretz saying a laboratory manufacturing explosives and parts of a rocket launcher had been confiscated, along with other weapons. Haaretz also cited army sources as saying that Israeli soldiers were conducting weapons searches in the camp, with 20 Palestinians arrested so far. Officials have indicated that Israeli forces could remain in the camp for days. “An operation doesn’t end in one day,” Energy Minister Israel Katz, a member of the security cabinet, told Army radio.
Jenin is a Palestinian city in the northern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The city is under administration of the Palestinian Authority, which has only limited authority in parts of the West Bank. Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank is widely considered a violation of international law.
The Jenin refugee camp, where the Israeli military on Monday launched an attack, killing at last eight, is a densely populated part of the city. It was established in the early 1950s to house Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes, mainly from what is today northern Israel, during, and in the aftermath of the Israeli-Arab war in 1948. Palestinians refer to this period as the Nakba, the catastrophe. Israel captured and occupied the West Bank along with East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestinians want to see the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza as integral parts of a future independent Palestinian state. However, any substantial peace talks have been frozen for a decade at least.
Credit to : DW News