Over the past week, the situation in the Jenin refugee camp located in the northern occupied West Bank has escalated significantly. Israel launched air raids and ground attacks on the camp, which resulted in mounting casualties. This military operation was met with condemnation and concern from various international entities including Iran, Egypt, Jordan, the Arab League, and the United Nations1.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the attack on Jenin, describing it as a prominent measure of state terrorism. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the other hand, criticized the excessive and indiscriminate force used by Israel, and called for international bodies to intervene. Jordan and the Arab League also expressed their disapproval, with the latter condemning the "brutal military operation" and calling it a form of collective punishment. The United Nations resident humanitarian coordinator in Palestine, Lynn Hastings, expressed alarm at the scale of the operation and called for access to the injured. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen indicated that Israel had no intention of expanding its operation to the entire occupied West Bank and aimed to focus only on Jenin and the "terrorists and their cells"1.
On June 19, a large Israeli military force raided Jenin from multiple directions. The raid resulted in the deaths of eight Palestinians and 91 injuries, following hours of fighting between Israeli soldiers and unified Palestinian resistance groups. The Israeli media reported that eight of their soldiers were wounded, with varying degrees of injury severity. Local videos showed Israeli military vehicles blown up and engulfed in flames, including the Panther troop carrier, a vehicle used in moderate to heavy combat2.
Not all of the Palestinians killed were fighters, as Israel has been known to target civilians, including children, women, medics, and journalists. Among the victims were a 15-year-old boy named Ahmed Saqr, a 14-year-old girl named Sadeel Ghassan Turkman, and journalist Hazem Emad Nasser, who was wounded2.
Jenin has been a historical center of Palestinian resistance, and its inhabitants remain resilient despite the ongoing conflict. The refugee camp was established in 1953 by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and houses refugees expelled by Zionist militias during the Nakba in 1947-48. Despite the severe conditions, including poverty and neglect, the camp's inhabitants have maintained resistance to Israeli occupation, and the recent events are seen as part of a larger fight undertaken by Palestinians across the occupied territories2.
Israel has targeted Jenin for decades, aiming to reduce the intensity of the resistance there. However, it is widely recognized that crushing Palestinian resistance in Jenin is a near impossibility due to the persistent spirit of the inhabitants and their commitment to their cause2.
In the aftermath of the recent events, residents of Jenin have insisted that the resistance is not over and that the next generation would continue the fight. The ongoing struggle in Jenin symbolizes the broader Palestinian resistance, and the events in Jenin have wider implications for the Palestinian cause as a whole2.