The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have ended their counter-terrorism operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
The announcement was made during his visit to the Salem checkpoint near Jenin, with the participation of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
“At this moment, we are completing the mission, and I can say our wide-scale action in Jenin is not a one-time thing. We will continue as long as necessary to uproot terrorism. We will not allow Jenin to go back to being a city of refuge for terrorism. We will eradicate terrorism wherever we see it, and we will strike at it,” Netanyahu said in a statement published by his office.
Netanyahu also commented on the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that happened on Tuesday.
“Today, there was a heinous terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that was stopped due to the intervention of an armed civilian. Without this intervention, this terrorist attack could have claimed many lives. I wish the wounded a swift recovery. Whoever thinks that such an attack will deter us from continuing our fight against terrorism is mistaken. He is simply unfamiliar with the spirit of the State of Israel, our government, our citizens and our soldiers,” Netanyahu added.
Maj. Ella Waweya, the Deputy IDF Commander of the Arabic Spokesperson’s Unit, told Sputnik that Israel’s operation “was not aimed at the occupation of the Jenin Camp, but at terrorist groups,” adding that “the source of about 75% money for supporting terrorism going to Jenin is Hamas” and that “90% of the funds for terrorist recruitment come from the Islamic Jihad group.”
Waweya noted that the IDF began the operation by “striking the command headquarters and the joint operating headquarters of the Palestinian formations in the heart of the Jenin Camp,” which was followed by “strikes on areas with fighters and weapons.”
A Sputnik correspondent reported that Residents of Jenin in the West Bank during the second day of Israel’s operation were setting tires on fire and blocking the way for the Israeli military who tried to storm the Jenin Camp. Clashes between Israeli soldiers and young Palestinians, who were trying to hold back the advance and block Israel’s soldiers and vehicles, broke out in front of the camp on Tuesday. Locals also were taking to the streets waving Palestinian flags, chanting slogans and singing songs in support of the Palestinian fighters.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 12 people, including five children, have died during Israel’s operation, and 140 have been injured, with 30 civilians being in serious condition.
The IDF tweeted that a non-commissioned Israeli officer has been killed during the operation in the Jenin Camp, adding that the military “sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and will continue to support them.”
Israel began its largest air-and-ground offensive in the West Bank in years on the night from Sunday to Monday. IDF aircraft launched more than ten strikes at what it described as “terrorist infrastructure” in the Jenin refugee camp. The Israeli military said it had seized an improvised missile launcher, weapons, and ammunition.