Israel’s Jenin operation reignites Palestinian anger
The pavements and roads in Jenin’s center are covered with a thick crust of black ash.
Barricades of burning tyres are set up by young Palestinian men who prowl streets looking for Israeli jeeps. Many of them carry rocks or homemade bombs to hurl at passing Israeli vehicles. In sporadic bursts, gunfire and explosions echo throughout the refugee camp, which is located above the town center. There is a constant buzz of Israeli drones overhead.
Sometimes armed Palestinians emerge from the tyre smoke to fire at Israelis.
There has been almost daily violence between Palestinians and Israelis this year. As blood is spilled, there is often a dynamic of retaliation, including Palestinian armed groups, Jews living in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, and the Israeli army. According to the Israelis, they moved on the Jenin camp because of more than 50 relatively recent attacks.
Violent confrontations are only the tip of the iceberg of violence, despair, and hatred. Over a century ago, a conflict over the ownership of the land created a poison that gave rise to their existence. In the 1990s, there was a hope that peace might be achieved if an independent Palestinian state were established alongside Israel, the so-called two-state solution. It did not work.
A number of powerful Western countries, including the US, EU members, and the UK, still believe that two states are the only solution. Their words are empty platitudes. Attempts to make this idea work in America failed in 2014.
It took months for the Israeli operation here in Jenin to get underway. Jenin refugee camp had been controlled by Palestinian armed groups despite regular Israeli raids. It seemed as if they were getting stronger.
An Israeli jeep was blown up a fortnight ago, and the Palestinian dead included a 15-year-old girl. On the following day, two Palestinians attacked a restaurant near Jenin where four Israelis were eating, killing four of them. In a series of reprisals, the Israeli army protected Jewish settlers who burned cars and houses in Palestinian villages.
It was only a matter of time before the Israeli army moved against the Palestinians who controlled Jenin refugee camp. According to the organization, weapons and explosives are being tracked and destroyed in a systematic way.
A group of young Palestinian men gathered in angry knots outside a hospital on the edge of the Jenin refugee camp are raging with fury and frustration. A barricade of burning tyres leaves behind black circles and piles of burned rubber and twisted wire.
Over the past two days, the Israeli army has released updates on explosives discovered and neutralized in the camp, along with what it calls terrorist command centers. Military communiques have a business-like tone, as opposed to statements made by Israeli cabinet members who oppose Palestinian self-determination.
Israel’s public security minister Itamar Ben Gvir issued a statement after a Palestinian was shot dead in Tel Aviv after he rammed his car into a crowd of Israelis. The Palestinian had rammed his car into a crowd of Israelis after ramming his car into a crowd of Israelis. According to him, murderers target every Jew.