EXPLAINER: On What Happened in Jenin and the Possibility of a Full Israeli Attack on West Bank

An Israeli armored vehicle is targeted by Palestinian resistance explosive device in Jenin. (Photo: Saraya Al-Quds - Jenin Battalion, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Israeli military has itself admitted to the destruction or damage to seven of its military vehicles, including a large troop carrier known as Panther, and also the destruction of a helicopter. 

On Monday, June 20, Israeli occupation forces invaded parts of the northern Palestinian town of Jenin, and its refugee camp. The invasion, which has been routine in recent months, didn’t go as planned. 

Six Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military, including a child, Ahmed Saqr, and over 91 were reportedly wounded, including a journalist. According to eyewitnesses and a statement by the Palestinian Red Crescent society, the Israeli army intentionally hampered the work of medics that could have saved some of the lost lives. 

Eight Israeli soldiers were injured, some of whom are reportedly in serious condition. The Palestinian Resistance said in a statement, a copy of which was received by the Palestine Chronicle, that the Israeli military is outright lying about its losses, due to fear of political repercussions. 

Is the Israeli Military Hiding the True Number of Its Casualties? 

The Palestinian claim was substantiated by three factors: 

One, is the fact that the Israeli military has itself admitted to the destruction or damage to seven of its military vehicles, including a large troop carrier known as Panther, and also the destruction of a helicopter. 

Two, the fact that it took the Israeli army hours to evacuate its damaged vehicles and its wounded due to the stiff resistance, and the siege imposed on invading Israeli troops in the Jenin neighborhood of Jabriyat. 

Three, the fact that Israel had to resort to the use of its air force for the first time since the Second Palestinian Uprising (Intifada) over 20 years ago. 

Who Were the Palestinians Involved in the Fighting? 

Although fighters from all main Palestinian Resistance groups took part in the Monday battle, two dominant forces were involved: Izz ed-Din Al-Qassam, the military wing of the political movement Hamas, and the Jenin Brigades, a branch of the Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad.

While Al-Qassam fighters have reportedly been the ones that ambushed the Israeli force in the Jenin camp, the Jenin Brigades were the ones that discovered the Israeli force in Jabriyat and engaged with them in a protracted battle. 

The Palestinian Resistance has published many photos and several videos to demonstrate its claims regarding the nature of the fight, the ambush, and the losses suffered by the Israeli military. 

The Islamic Jihad also warned in a statement that if the Israeli military resorts to air bombardment, the “Resistance fighters will use methods (of Resistance) that will surprise (the enemy).” 

What are the Israelis Saying? 

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said that “all options are on the table” as far as launching a major military operation in the West Bank is concerned. He also said that he had instructed the military and all security forces to be prepared for offensive operations anywhere Israel is threatened. 

Galant’s comments followed remarks by Israel’s Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich, who said that the time has come for a major military operation in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank that involves air defense and artillery.

Smotrich had called for an emergency meeting involving the security cabinet.

Why Did Israel Kill the Child Ahmed Saqr? 

The circumstances of the killing of 15-year-old boy Ahmed Saqr remain unclear, though killing Palestinian children by Israel is routine in the West Bank. Israel has already killed scores of Palestinian children in the West Bank since the start of the year. 

2023 has the potential of being the deadliest year for Palestinian children in the West Bank since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005. 

This does not include besieged Gaza, which has lost hundreds of its children in various Israeli wars and raids in recent years. The last Israeli war on the Strip on May 9 resulted in the killing of 33 Palestinians, including six children. 

What Should We Expect? 

The Israeli military is worried that a full-armed rebellion or a militarized Intifada could take place in the Occupied West Bank. 

Such an uprising has the potential of changing the current, sustainable status quo in ways that could force Israel to a long fight against the Palestinian Resistance. 

It could also jeopardize the so-called ‘security coordination’ with the Palestinian Authority, which, if Resistance groups take charge of the West Bank, may cease to exist. 

The far-right members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are urging the prime minister to unleash a major offensive against the West Bank. 

The Israeli military remains hesitant, fearing that such an offensive could turn into a protracted fight, while the country’s internal intelligence, the Shin Bet, is reportedly changing its position in favor of decisive military action. 

Palestinian groups, however, say that they have devised new weapons and a unified resistance strategy that “would surprise” the enemy.  

These claims are verified by Israel itself. 

“The occupation army had admitted from dawn on Monday until the afternoon of the same day that its forces were exposed to a large number of explosive devices and showers of bullets, which led to the injury of a number of its soldiers and the damage of military vehicles that penetrated into Jenin,” Aljazeera Net, citing Israeli sources, reported on the Jenin battle.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. Palestinian organizations should consider insisting now, with one voice, asking the nations of the world to endorse a representation election for Israel / Palestine.

    A representation election in Palestine has never been held. This anti-Semitic omission to apply democratic procedures in Palestine is due to (1) stubborn refusal of the UK, under it’s 1921-48 Mandate, to conduct a vote in Palestine and (2) the failure of the UN, in 1947, to require an election to answer the question of the governance of Palestine. This oversight has led to horrific, ongoing Palestinian suffering. A plebiscite now, is both reasonable & the only road to peace.

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