Israeli Strikes on Jenin’s 1950s Refugee Camp in Palestine Triggers International Outrage
Israeli strikes in Palestine have increased drastically ever since Benjamin Netanyahu returned as prime minister in December 2022. On July 3, the Israeli military launched its biggest operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank. This is said to be the largest operation since the 2000-2005 Second Intifada.
Netanyahu described Jenin as a refuge for terrorism. The Israel military said Jenin has become a stronghold of a new generation of Palestinian militants who are frustrated with the Palestinian Authority’s aging leadership and the Israeli occupation. Israel utilized drones to strike targets in the occupied West Bank on Monday and deployed hundreds of troops. The counterterrorism operations used bulldozers to destroy the camp. 10 Palestinians, including three children, were killed in this brutal operation.
Palestinian officials said thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes in the Jenin refugee camp after the Israeli attack. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service says the exodus or displacement of Palestinian refugees will continue.
Outrage and Condemnation
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has strongly condemned this latest assault on the Palestinians. Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwai, GCC’s Secretary-General, in an official strongly-worded statement said “the assault carried out by the Israeli occupation on Jenin camp represents a flagrant violation against international laws and charters, and hampers peace efforts dedicated to solving the Palestinian cause”.
The GCC calls for a prompt and urgent international action to stop the horrific assaults and repressive practices. Albudaiwai urged the international institutions to intervene and revive the efforts of enabling the Palestinian people to gain their legitimate rights in establishing their state on 197 territories with east Jerusalem as the capital.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, expressed deep concern about the attacks in Jenin. The UN’s humanitarian affairs coordination office (OCHA) said at least 100 have been injured, 20 are in critical condition. WHO said the extent of people’s injuries was placing strain on the fragile and underfunded health system. It highlighted that ambulances with medical teams have been stopped from entering parts of the refugee camp and reaching the critically injured.
Right to Defend Itself
Experts highlighted the U.S president Joe Biden’s silence and unwavering support for Israel. The White reiterated “Israel’s right to defend itself”. It supported Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas.
Experts believe Biden doesn’t want to confront its top ally (Israel) in the Middle East. Daniel Levy, president of the U.S/Middle East Project think tank, highlighted the past wherein the U.S. administration ran cover for the Israelis and let them get away with whatever they wanted. He believes the Biden administration doesn’t want the situation in West Bank to spiral out of control, but it also doesn’t want to risk ‘hurting relations’ with buddy, Israel.