IDF anti-terror operation in Jenin ‘biggest in 20 years’ as armed groups in UN camp hit

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

IDF anti-terror operation in Jenin ‘biggest in 20 years’ as armed groups in UN camp hit

Israeli forces attack Jenin Battalion HQ near school in the early hours of Monday prompting clashes and arrests

An IDF image showing sites central to the military operation in Jenin
An IDF image showing sites central to the military operation in Jenin

Israeli forces are conducting one of their biggest military operations in the West Bank in the last 20 years, beginning in the early hours of Monday morning.

Soldiers targeted armed groups in a UN camp in Jenin, a city dubbed “asylum for terrorists” by Israeli ministers. The attack has included drones and military vehicles, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) going after a group called the Jenin Battalion.

The operation, which was still ongoing by midday, involved more than 1,000 troops and 15 IDF bulldozers to combat the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted along the roads, as soldiers used loudspeakers to tell residents to stay indoors for their own safety.

Amidst running gun battles, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said forces were targeting labs used for making IEDs and weapons. At least eight Palestinians were reported killed and more than 50 injured, while more than 20 were arrested.

Palestinian media agency Wafa said the IDF cut off much of the city’s electricity supply during the operation, with soldiers taking over houses on the edge of the camp, where they posted snipers. The city is home to 50,000 people.

A relatively new military umbrella organisation, the Jenin Battalion is known to draw its recruits from Palestinian groups such as Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. In a statement, it said its members would fight “until the last breath and bullet”.

During Monday’s mission, the IDF attacked what it described as a “joint terror command post” in the heart of the refugee camp near a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school, a clinic, and a food distribution centre.

The buildings were described as a meeting point for arming terrorists with weapons and explosive devices, a communication centre for operatives, and a shelter for wanted operatives for terror attacks in the last few months.

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant said: “We will take an offensive and aggressive stance against terrorism. Anyone who attacks Israeli citizens will pay a high price. The security establishment is prepared for any scenario.”

Tensions have been mounting, especially after four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded – one seriously – in a shooting attack at a petrol station next to the Eli settlement in the northern West Bank ten days ago.

In addition, the deployment of IEDs against IDF troops and the launch of crude rockets from the West Bank last week led Israeli ministers to approve the operation which began around 1am, according to army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said it amounted to “a new war crime against our defenceless people” but Hagari said 50 shooting attacks had originated from Jenin in the past two years, and that 19 terrorists had fled to the city following attacks.

He said it would “no longer be a city of asylum for terrorists” but added that the operation was not against the Palestinian Authority, with the IDF expressing no desire to extend it to other cities in the West Bank.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: