The anti-terrorist operation will last “as long as takes,” the prime minister has declared
Israel’s military operation in Jenin is aimed at stopping terrorism and will last as long as is necessary to achieve its goals, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at the US Embassy’s 4th of July party in Jerusalem on Monday.
“In recent months, Jenin has become a safe haven for terrorism, and from that haven came vicious attacks against Israeli men, women and children,” he claimed, describing the West Bank militants as “the most legitimate target on the planet – people who would annihilate our country.”
Netanyahu declined to give a timeframe for the operation, only stating that it would “continue as long as it takes to complete the mission.” Meanwhile, he said, Israel was “doing everything to avoid civilian casualties” while exercising its “right to self-defense” in the Palestinian territory.
The IDF began its largest incursion into the Jenin refugee camp since the Second Intifada early on Monday with airstrikes and raids on what it claimed was terrorist infrastructure “located next to schools, a medical center and civilian houses,” including a “joint headquarters for multiple armed groups.”
Following an emergency meeting of Palestinian leaders in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority opted to cut off contact and meetings with Israel and limit its communications with the US for failing to hold Israel to security agreements the two governments had signed earlier this year. The PA called on the UN to provide protection for the Palestinians and to issue sanctions on Israel in response to the latest assault, as well as its ongoing violations of international law.
The operation has also drawn the ire of UN and EU bodies tasked with achieving peace in Israel and Palestine and was “strongly condemned” by the UAE and Egypt. The US State Department said it is “monitoring the situation closely.”
Israeli forces have repeatedly conducted raids in Jenin in recent months, claiming terrorist groups were using it as a base of operations. While IDF Central Commander Maj.Gen. Yehuda Fuchs admitted that one assault on a border city was not going to “end the problem of terror for the State of Israel or from Jenin,” he claimed “something more significant” than the usual responses had been necessary.
An Israeli diplomatic source told the Jerusalem Post the US had been informed about 10 days ago that the IDF was planning an anti-terror mission in Jenin and had accepted the idea. The source claimed the invasion had been a last resort and that Israel had waited two years for the Palestinian Authority to rein in the terrorists, but that ultimately “there was no avoiding a more focused operation.”
July 04, 2023 at 04:16AM