Jenin Raid Ongoing for Over 12 Hours, Several Fatalities, Injuries, and Arrests

In the early hours of this morning, May 21st, the IDF launched a raid into the city of Jenin in the West Bank. The raid has now been ongoing for over 12 hours, and has witnessed engagements between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, and reportedly produced several fatalities amongst Palestinian civilians.

The Raid

The Israeli military has said they launched the raid in order to target “terrorist infrastructure” as well as target militants they said are affiliated with Hamas, and other Palestinian militant groups. The raid targeted the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank, and more specifically the Jenin refugee camp, which lies within the city.

Specifically, the IDF stated they sought to demolish the house of Ahmed Barkhat, a militant who had been killed in an Israeli airstrike two months prior to this raid, in March. According to Israel, Barkhat carried out two shooting attacks, one of which killed a civilian named Meir Tamari.

The IDF has deployed a large amount of armoured construction equipment, primarily bulldozers, in order to carry out demolition work on buildings and a number of roads.

Footage, alongside the claims of local Palestinian media, demonstrates significant damage to a number of roads, as well as the vehicles which were on said roads.

Palestinian media has further claimed that some of these roads were in front of, and near to, the Jenin government hospital.

The IDF has stated in the past that road demolition is oftentimes done in order to search for potential IED’s laid in the road by Palestinian militant groups, among other things. In contrast, many Palestinian media’s accuse the IDF of simply attempting to cause damage.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, several hours into the raid there were seven Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, including at least two children, as well as 15 people injured, including a journalist named Amr Manasrah. The MoH has not updated casualty figures since then, though more casualties have been reported by local sources.

The MoH, nor local sources, have further not distinguished which of the casualties are militant or civilian.

As previously stated, several clashes have taken place with Palestinian militants, primarily the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, a coalition of various smaller armed groups in the West Bank, as well as Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Saraya al-Quds’ Jenin Brigade stated they had begun engaging Israeli forces not long after they were discovered. Militants are engaging Israeli forces with small arms fire, and explosives.

Fighting has reportedly drawn in fighters from Saraya al-Quds’ Tulkarem Brigade as well.

A graphic released by Saraya al-Quds amidst ongoing fighting. The graphic reads “Present in every arena,” and shows one fighter from Saraya al-Quds Jenin Brigade, and another from the Tulkarem Brigade.

Tulkarem is another West Bank militant hotbed, in which raids take place frequently.

The IDF has stated that, during clashes, that “terrorists were hit,” however they gave no indication as to how many militants they may have injured or killed during fighting.

Notably, while Jenin has now entered the night time, the raid began during the day. Daytime raids in the West Bank are rare, as the IDF typically prefers to operate at night in order to hold the operational advantage, reduce the chances of being discovered, and reduce the chances of civilian interference.

The IDF has carried out a series of arrests, however it is unclear the identities of those who have been arrested, or how many individuals have been arrested.

Hamas issued a statement condemning the raid, which may be read below:

Hamas: The occupation’s massacre in Jenin will not discourage our people, and the resistance in the West Bank is continuing and rising

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) confirmed that the occupation’s massacre in the Jenin camp this morning, the martyrdom of 7 citizens and the wounding of a number of others, some of them seriously, are desperate attempts by the occupation to discourage our heroic people and our valiant resistance, and a continuation of the series of occupation crimes of murder, siege and starvation in Rafah, Jabalia and various areas of the Gaza Strip.

As of May 16th, over 500 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7th, when Hamas launched their initial attack upon Israel.

As of publication, the raid is ongoing.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.


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