newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Netanyahu hails ‘exemplary’ police counterterror unit following Jenin op

"We will submit for government approval a decision to strengthen the Yamam unit," said National Security Minister Ben-Gvir.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai with the Yamam counterterrorism unit, July 13, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai with the Yamam counterterrorism unit, July 13, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Amid an uptick in Palestinian terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Wednesday for a tour and briefing at the headquarters of the Israel Border Police’s elite Yamam National Counterterror Unit.

Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir were accompanied by Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai as well as the outgoing and incoming commanders of the Border Police, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The premier received an update on the operational activity of the counterterror unit, specifically during the recent raid on Jenin. Netanyahu was also shown the “equipment, capabilities and advanced and classified developments” of the Yamam unit, according to the statement.

In the early hours of July 3, the Israel Defense Forces sent more than 1,000 troops into Jenin in a major counterterror operation. During the 48-hour raid, Israeli forces killed 12 Palestinians—all confirmed to be terrorists—and arrested more than 100 terrorism suspects.

The operation, carried out in conjunction with the Border Police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), exposed at least eight weapon storage sites, six bomb-making labs, three “war rooms” and other terrorist assets.

Terrorists from Jenin have been responsible for more than 50 shootings in 2023, and 59 people from the city have carried out terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2022, killing three civilians and wounding 14.

“I just saw presentations together with the national security minister of your counterterrorist actions, which were exemplary,” stated Netanyahu during the visit. “You eliminated the terrorists, very few noncombatants were harmed, you did not injure yourselves. These are the first three things that we watch out for.”

Ben-Gvir hailed the unit’s work as being worthy of “all admiration and appreciation.”

“In the coming weeks, we will submit for government approval a decision to strengthen the Yamam unit so that its personnel will be able to continue being first everywhere,” the minister announced.

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