Israeli Army Withdraws from Jenin: Confrontations and Rockets in the West Bank

news 05-Jul-2023 Asia

Israeli Army Withdraws from Jenin

The Israeli military has withdrawn its soldiers from the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. Violent clashes were reported to have erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants during the night.

Two days after launching a large-scale military operation in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army has reportedly pulled back its forces from the Palestinian city. The withdrawal began on Tuesday evening, and according to Israel's military, all soldiers have now returned to their "routine activities" in the West Bank.

Army: Rockets Fired from Gaza Strip

According to Palestinian reports, heavy gun battles broke out with armed residents during the initial phase of the withdrawal. Videos circulating on social media showed a convoy of military vehicles being targeted with explosives.

Shortly thereafter, the army announced that five rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The Israeli air defense system successfully intercepted all rockets. The southern city of Sderot experienced siren alerts. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In the morning, the Israeli army reported that it had conducted airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire. According to Palestinian security sources, a military site belonging to the radical Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas in the northern part of the Gaza Strip was hit. There were no casualties reported.

Netanyahu Announced the Withdrawal

The withdrawal of the army from Jenin did not come as a surprise. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had hinted at an imminent end to the operation earlier. During a visit to a military outpost near Jenin, Netanyahu reportedly stated, "We are concluding the mission in these moments." However, he added that the "action" was "not a one-time occurrence," and Israel would "continue as long as necessary."

Intense Shootouts with Armed Residents

The objective of the operation, according to the army, was to dismantle the "terrorist infrastructure" of Islamist extremists. Specifically, Israel launched one of the largest military operations in the West Bank in decades on Monday night.

With around 1,000 soldiers, the army entered the Palestinian city after several airstrikes. They engaged in several intense shootouts with armed residents.

Large military vehicles caused significant damage to roads and buildings as they cleared explosive devices. Thousands of residents left the camp, with reports of power and water being cut off.

Casualties on Both Sides

During the night, the army announced that an Israeli non-commissioned officer had been shot and killed. He is the first casualty on the Israeli side since the start of the military offensive on Monday. No further details were disclosed. On the Palestinian side, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 13 Palestinians were killed and over 100 injured.

According to the army, several command centers, weapon depots, weapons manufacturing facilities, and hiding places of suspects were destroyed in the past few days. Additionally, 30 suspects were reportedly arrested.

Jenin is known as a stronghold of militant Palestinians. Several residents of the city have carried out deadly attacks on Israelis in recent years.

Attack in Tel Aviv

Meanwhile, a member of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, drove a car into a crowd at a bus stop in the coastal city of Tel Aviv and then proceeded to stab people present. Medics reported that at least eight people were injured.

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