Israel Conducts Largest Military Incursion Of West Bank Since 2002

 Via The Cradle,

Around 3,000 Palestinians were forced to leave the Jenin refugee camp overnight on Tuesday, as the Israeli army pushed ahead with the second day of the largest military invasion into the occupied West Bank since 2002.

"There are about 3,000 people who have left the camp so far," Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu al-Roub told AFP on Monday night, highlighting that 18,000 people live there.

Palestinians leaving their homes told reporters that Israeli forces had threatened to target them if they refused to leave, while some said the troops fired live shots at their homes. Several families were tear-gassed as they fled for safety.

According to the mayor of Jenin, Nidal Obeidi, the Israeli army started demolishing homes in the refugee camp after displacing their residents. "Those being targeted now are not just the resistance fighters, but civilians are being killed and wounded as well," he told Al Jazeera.

Tel Aviv’s brutal invasion of the flashpoint West Bank city started in the early hours of July 3rd and has left at least 10 Palestinians dead. Over 100 others have been wounded.

Shelling and fighting continued overnight. In the early hours of Tuesday, Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes in the Al-Damej neighborhood, while drones could be seen flying over the camp.

The Israeli siege involved drone strikes, Apache helicopters, and ground forces, including army bulldozers that tore up streets across Jenin. The offensive has been widely described as one of the worst Israeli attacks on the West Bank since the end of the Second Intifada.

While reporting on the siege, several journalists reported they were directly targeted by Israeli live fire. Al Araby TV correspondent Ahmed Shehadeh said the army destroyed his camera while he and four other journalists were taking refuge inside one of the homes in the camp before being evacuated by the Red Crescent.

While the Israeli military initially declined to say how long the siege of Jenin would take, army spokesperson Daniel Hagari announced on Tuesday morning that the operation "could end faster than initially expected, even within a matter of days."

Israel has said it is fighting terror organizations...

The operation was launched in response to the unprecedented rise of armed resistance in the West Bank, which has become a significant threat to Israeli cities and illegal West Bank settlements. Confronting the massive invasion are several different factions, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) Jenin Brigade, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and groups linked with Hamas.

The Jenin Brigade claims they have shot down at least four Israeli drones since the start of the siege. Solidarity with Jenin has been pouring in from across West Asia and North Africa, with dozens of nations condemning the Israeli aggression.

A general strike was announced in the occupied West Bank for Tuesday, while people in Gaza held rallies to express solidarity with the people of Jenin. Gaza resistance factions on Monday said in a statement, “We call on all our people in cities, villages, and camps, especially around Jenin, to confront the Israeli occupation and support Jenin.”

The statement continued: "We call on the resistance fighters in all arenas to respond to any aggression if the Israeli occupation continues its crimes against our people."

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