update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

German diplomat, pro-terror Jenin mayor hold ‘cordial’ call

Germany supported Israel's right to defend itself this week but expressed "great concern" over the IDF counterterrorism op.

Oliver Owcza. Photo: Twitter
Oliver Owcza. Photo: Twitter

Oliver Owcza, the German representative to the Palestinian Authority, held a “cordial” call with Jenin Mayor Nidal Al-Obeidi, the diplomat tweeted on July 6.

Al-Obeidi told him about the “massive destruction of civil infrastructure, kick-started reparation works and need for external aid,” stated Owcza, who responded by reassuring the “continued support” of Palestinians (using a flag emoji) by his country.

Both parties in the “cordial” call have made their disdain for Israel known.

In a July 3 interview, Al-Obeidi extended his condolences to the terrorists killed in Jenin, praising his city’s “symbolic role in the resistance” against the Jewish state.

“All the Palestinian people know that coexistence with the occupation is impossible, and we carry out the martyrdom project for the sake of our homeland,” the Jenin mayor told Qatar’s Al Araby TV.

Six months ago, Owcza and Steffen Seibert, Germany’s ambassador to Israel, were part of what the latter called an “insightful” tour conducted by the anti-Israel NGO Ir Amim.

NGO Monitor has stated that Ir Amim “frequently accuses Israel of attempting to ‘Judaize’ Jerusalem and promotes the Palestinian narrative on the city.”

This week, Germany supported Israel’s right to defend itself against terror but expressed “great concern” over the counterterrorism action undertaken by the Israel Defense Forces. Berlin called on Jerusalem to “respect the principle of proportionality under international law.”

In a separate statement, it called for the re-establishment of “effective” P.A. security governance.

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

At least 45% of the city’s residents are members of designated terrorist groups, according to IDF figures.

The P.A., which is obligated under the Oslo Accords to arrest terrorists, has allowed Jenin to become a hornet’s nest for Palestinian armed groups. In some instances, senior P.A. officials have praised attacks on innocent Israelis.

The IDF sent more than 1,000 troops—believed to be the largest deployment in Judea and Samaria in two decades—into Jenin in a major counter-terror operation in the early hours of Monday.

The military announced on Tuesday that its forces had killed 12 Palestinians during the 48-hour operation—all confirmed terrorists—and arrested more than 100 terrorism suspects.

As Israeli troops withdrew from Jenin on Tuesday night, the city’s P.A. mayor instructed local terrorist groups to operate with caution.

Speaking on Al Jazeera, Al-Obeidi warned that the army’s departure might be part of a “tactical plan to target resistance fighters after the end of the operation.”

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