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Israel gave US heads up on Jenin raid, pledged limited scale

“Our forces entered the nest of terrorists," Netanyahu said.

Rubble in Jenin on July 4, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Rubble in Jenin on July 4, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Israel told the U.S. about the Jenin operation that began on Monday a week in advance.

Moreover, it made sure to explain to officials in Washington that the operation would be limited to Jenin in order to rout the terrorist hotbeds there, Israel Hayom has learned.

This is why the U.S. has yet to condemn the IDF activity. Israel also pledged to carry out the operation in a surgical manner—similar to past raids—to avoid harming noncombatants as much as possible.

“We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups,” a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council said in a White House statement on Monday.

Because the operation has been defined as a small-scale incursion, there was no need to convene the Israeli Security Cabinet and get a green light, allowing the exact timing of the operation to be kept under wraps until the forces left for Jenin.

Recent events in Jenin, in which IDF vehicles were attacked with sophisticated improvised explosive devices, were a significant catalyst for the raid, with officials determined to prevent the terrorists from building on their know-how.

Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for possible escalation on the northern border as well as in Gaza. Officials stress that there are no plans to get involved in an extensive Defensive Shield-like campaign, the 2002 IDF offensive to root out Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria during the Second Intifada.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday night to press forward “for as long as necessary” with the military operation in Jenin, which he said had become “a city of refuge for terrorism.

“Our forces entered the nest of terrorists in Jenin: They are targeting terrorists. They are arresting fugitives. They are destroying command centers and seizing considerable weaponry. They are doing something else—they are destroying laboratories, of an almost industrial scale, for producing explosives, bombs and devices for killing and murdering Israeli citizens,” said Netanyahu.

“They are doing all of this in one of the most crowded places on earth and they are doing so with minimal injury to civilians, and without any injury to noncombatants. This is the directive: Take care of the security of our forces and also to avoid injury to innocents,” he added.

More than 1,000 IDF troops are participating in the operation, the largest deployment in Judea and Samaria in two decades.

Israeli troops have arrested 120 wanted terrorism suspects and are searching for 350 additional suspects in Jenin.

Jenin has been the source of more than 50 shootings since the start of the year, and 59 terrorists from the city have carried out attacks since the beginning of 2022, killing three civilians and wounding 14 other civilians, the army said.

On June 19, an unusually large IED wounded seven soldiers on their way out of Jenin following an arrest operation, requiring the IDF to call in gunship support to extract them.

On June 22, the IDF carried out a targeted killing of three terrorists in Samaria via a drone strike, a tactic not seen in Judea and Samaria in 20 years. That incident was followed on June 26 by the first-ever launch of a homemade rocket from Jenin.

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