Violence in the Levant: Israeli’s Raid Jenin with Helicopters, Palestinian Militants Launch Retaliatory Attacks

Yesterday saw some of the largest clashes in the West Bank in many, many years. In the early hours of Monday the IDF began a raid on Jenin, in the West Bank. Clashes began, as they often do, but continued to grow in ferocity and size, worsening as IDF reinforcements poured into Jenin. Palestinian groups managed to knock out an IDF “Namer” armoured vehicle. The rescue operation for both the troops inside, and the extraction of the vehicle itself, reportedly took over an hour as Palestinian militants maintained fire on the extraction attempt. The vehicle had to be dragged out of Jenin by a modified bulldozer.

After things became increasingly dire, the IDF employed Helicopters which launched a number of airstrikes on Jenin in order to assist in covering the Israeli withdrawal. Notably, this is the first time the IDF has deployed helicopters in such a raid since 2002.

Reportedly, the tail of the helicopter was damaged and forced to land in an open field, later to be extracted by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian group Saraya Al-Quds Jenin Brigade has termed the battle as the “Battle of the Fury of the Free”. The IDF has not claimed any fatalities, stating that two IDF soldiers were injured, “one lightly and the second moderately”, and “five additional Israel Border Police officers were injured, two were moderately injured and three were lightly injured”. Palestinian militant groups dispute this however, claiming “certain” casualties, though no photo/video evidence has been provided for this claim.

The Israeli raid, which they stated was a “counterterrorism operation”, left at least 91 Palestinians injured, 22 of which are in critical condition, with an additional 5 Palestinians killed, including a 15 year old boy.

Today, June 20th, has seen significant attacks from Palestinian militants. Four Israeli’s have been killed with an additional seven injured after a shooting at a gas station nearby the Israeli town of Eli. The shooting involved two people, at least one of which were armed with an M-16 rifle. One of the shooters, a 25 year old named Muhannad Shehadeh, was killed on scene.

One of those killed in the shooting.

The IDF had stated that they were pursuing the remaining attacker, reportedly closing off exits from Nablus as they narrowed their search. Their search was successful as they managed to find, and kill, the second attacker in the town of Tubas. All of those involved in the shooting have been killed.

It is thus far unknown if the two acted independently or not. However, while neither are official claims of responsibility, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine did release these statements on the shooting:

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem:

The response to the occupation’s crimes in Jenin camp yesterday and the invasion of Al-Aqsa Mosque did not delay, so the operation took place in the “Eli” settlement.

The people of the West Bank strike everywhere and where the zionist occupation does not expect..

This ongoing revolution and great intifada will continue and will not stop until our people’s goals of freedom and independence are achieved.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: 

The Ramallah operation, in which the heroes of the resistance attacked a group of zionist settlers, is an immortal and heroic source of pride and a testament to what the resistance in the West Bank has reached.

The zionist enemy will pay the price of its ongoing crimes against our people with the blood of his soldiers and settlers. Its illusions about the imminent breakdown of the wave of resistance will be dispelled by the bullets and bombs of the heroic martyrs in the West Bank, the continuous expansion of the circle of clashing, and the public embrace of its heroes and actions.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Central Media Office


The US, EU, and UK have all expressed concern over the quickly devolving situation, urging both sides to be calm.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien is a published journalist and historicist with over six years of experience in freelance journalism and research. His primary expertise is in African conflict and politics, with additional specialization in Israeli/Palestinian and Armenia/Azerbaijan conflicts. Sébastien serves as the deputy desk chief for Africa.


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