By Latheef Farook
Israel, an artificial state created on Palestinian lands by means of killings, massacres and genocides for Jews brought from the west, committed its latest war crimes in the occupied West Bank Palestinian refugee camps in Jenin on Monday July 3. This invasion was fully backed by US and Europe and Arab dictators were willing complicits .
During the invasion, Israel occupied residential homes, fired at a hospital and journalists., barred medics from reaching the wounded inside Jenin, killed 12 Palestinians – including three children – wounded 120 and detained 300 Palestinians .
For 38 hours , the Israeli military did nothing but destroy, eyewitnesses said. The devastation has surpassed the most pessimistic of expectations. Local authorities in Jenin estimated that about 80 percent of buildings in the camp were completely or partially damaged.
The two-day attack on the large, semi-permanent refugee camp outside Jenin, with 14,000 residents, led to pitched battles with Palestinian militants and deliberate and widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure, including water and electricity supplies and healthcare facilities.
According to columnist Dr Mustafa Fetouri Israel might declare victory over Jenin Camp but it will be a shallow and shameful victory by one of the best-equipped armies in the world against mostly civilian freedom fighters with almost no fighting experience or training. Israel’s superior military capabilities will not kill the “Jenin Syndrome” that Israel is suffering from. The will to fight back against the occupation state has only increased, and will never be killed completely as long as there is an occupation to resist.
At the top of the Netanyahu agenda is to expand Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank. His government has approved the building of thousands more housing units for the illegal Jewish settlers living on stolen Palestinian land. Israel and its supporters, including the US and UK, know that it is illegal for Israel to build on occupied land, yet the rogue state is allowed to act with total impunity and with utter contempt for international law, humanitarian law and relevant UN resolutions calling for it to end its brutal military occupation of Palestine.
Unlimited US support for Israel is nothing new, of course, but even that will not change the simple fact that the Palestinians displaced will always come back to fight, no matter how strong their enemy might be. When will Israel and its slavish allies understand this reality?
According to Palestine Chronicle Israel did not succeed in its aim. An indication of Israel’s failure is that the invading Israeli forces couldn’t penetrate deep inside Jenin, especially the refugee camp. The battle of the Damaj neighborhood was a perfect illustration of this.
According to the Israeli military, 3,000 soldiers took part in the invasion, and hundreds of military vehicles, drones and other military equipment were deployed.The intention was to eradicate the Resistance from Jenin altogether. However Palestinians were only resisting occupation and fighting for their freedom and dignity.
As soon as Israeli forces began their withdrawal from Jenin, thousands of Palestinians marched in the streets of the Jenin refugee camp and several West Bank cities to celebrate what they saw as the victory of the Palestinian Resistance. Large crowds participated in spontaneous marches in Jenin refugee camp, Ramallah, Jericho, and Nablus, and the participants chanted slogans glorifying the Resistance and its steadfastness in the face of the Israeli occupation forces.
According to video footage on social media, local and international news reports, and even some Israeli official statements, the claims of the Resistance seem to be accurate. Like Gaza, Palestinian Resistance perceives that preventing Israel from achieving its declared objectives is a victory.
A United Nations panel of human rights experts declared Israel’ atrocities “amount to egregious violations of international law and standards on the use of force and may constitute a war crime.”
According to the UN panel, “The attacks were the fiercest in the West Bank since the destruction of the Jenin camp in 2002.” They included air strikes, the first in two decades. The healthcare system was a particular target, with multiple reports of ambulances being prevented from evacuating the wounded, and IDF troops firing tear gas into Jenin General Hospital.
“The attacks constitute collective punishment of the Palestinian population, who have been labelled a ‘collective security threat’ in the eyes of Israeli authorities,” the UN panel said. “The Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are protected persons under international law, guaranteed of all human rights including the presumption of innocence… They cannot be treated as a collective security threat by the occupying Power, all the more while it advances the annexation of occupied Palestinian land, and displacement and dispossession of its Palestinian residents.”
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a coalition of right-wing parties, including outright fascists, with a large base in the illegal settlements on the West Bank. The regime is preparing for the logical conclusion of this campaign of terror and murder: the forcible displacement of millions of Palestinians, and the incorporation of the West Bank into Israel.
Leaders of the fascist parties speak openly of their determination to remove the entire Arab population of the West Bank and annex the territory. In this, they are modeling themselves on the pogroms against Arabs which accompanied the foundation of Israel in 1947-48. This campaign, which today would be called “ethnic cleansing,” transformed an Arab-majority territory of Palestine into a Jewish-majority state of Israel.
The Israeli aggression on the West Bank is taking place with the full approval of the US government. The Biden administration certainly green-lighted the operation in advance, and voiced approval of it after the fact. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday, “We have said this many times: We support, certainly, Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups. Israel is a close ally and partner, and we are in touch with the national security and, certainly, the defense officials. So don’t have anything to read out on our conversation, but we are in regular contact.”
At least 155 Palestinians have been killed by soldiers and settlers so far this year, the largest total since the second intifada in 2002.
In a joint article Salma Abdelaziz, Muhammad Darwish and Kareem Khadder said ”The Jenin incursion was meant to weaken militant groups. It has ended up deepening the defiance of Palestinian fighters”.
Palestijians fighting back in Jenin
Women and children flee Jenin
A picture shows burnt cars, reportedly set ablaze by Israeli settlers, in the area of Lubban al-Gharbi in the occupied West Bank on 21 June 2023 (AFP)
Disclaimer: US-Europe backed Israeli war crimes in Jenin
Arab Dictators were willing complicits - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view