JENIN, WEST BANK – Israeli occupation forces launched their largest operation in the West Bank city of Jenin since the Second Intifada on Sunday night with a large-scale military campaign. The operation included airstrikes on multiple buildings as armored occupation military snipers and vehicles surrounded the Jenin Camp.
At least eight Palestinians have been killed by occupation forces, including three children, and around 50 others wounded, many critically, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The ministry reports that the number of casualties and wounded is likely much higher due to occupation bulldozers and forces preventing paramedics from reaching multiple areas in Jenin.
According to Brig-Gen Daniel Hagari, the IOF Chief Spokesman, as of now, Jenin is the focus of the operation. This doesn’t mean the operation won’t expand to other parts of the northern West Bank.
Around 1:00 p.m. local time, occupation forces and resistance fighters engaged in an even wider battle near Al-Ansar Mosque. Occupation military aircraft engaged Palestinian fighters attempting to eliminate any resistance. Zionist media outlets report that the IOF intelligence and Shin Bet located and neutralized “two pits full of explosives and other weapons.”
An official from the Government Hospital in Jenin said the attack was one of the worst Jenin has witnessed in years, saying, “We have not received this number of serious injuries since 2002.”
The United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Palestine, Lynn Hastings, said she was “alarmed by the scale of Israeli forces operating” in and around Jenin. “Air strikes were used in the densely populated refugee camp. Several dead and critically wounded. Access to all injured must be ensured,” Hastings tweeted.
Local residents told reporters that civilians occupied the buildings being shelled. The Freedom Theatre was also targeted, one of Jenin’s popular cultural centers.
According to the occupation military, since the attack began, the occupation has launched at least ten airstrikes with drones. Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin, Mahmoud al-Saadi, told reporters there was “bombing from the air and an invasion from the ground. Several houses and sites have been bombed. Smoke is rising from everywhere.”
An eyewitness from Jenin Camp, Hafeth Abu Sabra, described scenes of horror from Jenin’s streets to reporters. He said occupation forces are still destroying public property and infrastructure while snipers were waiting in armored occupation vehicles and rooftops, firing live rounds at Palestinians anywhere near the entrance to the camp.
“Two civilians were directly hit in front of me.” Abu Sabra said one of them was struck in the head by a sniper and likely died on his way to the hospital. “He just stood and wasn’t doing anything. He was not armed and wasn’t even throwing rocks at the occupation vehicles.”
Abu Sabra added the Jenin Camp’s alleyways and entrances are besieged from every direction. This makes it impossible for Palestinian civilians to flee the camp. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has reported that paramedics trying to reach specific neighborhoods have been targeted by live fire from occupation forces.
Journalists with the Al Arabt TV channel and other media sources have also been targeted, leaving some of their equipment damaged. There are still intense ongoing battles throughout the Jenin Camp and the surrounding city.