In an initial assessment on Monday afternoon, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the Jewish state’s counter-terror operation in Jenin is “progressing as planned.”
“In the past few hours, we dealt a heavy blow to the terror organizations in Jenin and managed to record impressive operational achievements,” stated Gallant.
The defense minister stressed that the IDF would “receive full support to do whatever is necessary and to operate on the ground and in the air, in order to protect the citizens of Israel and preserve full freedom of action throughout [the West Bank].”
More than 1,000 Israeli forces are taking part in the Jenin operation, which is reportedly the largest Israeli counter-terrorism operation of its kind in the West Bank for two decades. IDF forces have killed at least eight terrorists in the city of Jenin, which has developed into a major hub of anti-Israel terrorism.
“The city of Jenin, and in particular the refugee camp, is a stronghold of terror that exports terrorism to the entire [West Bank] and the home front,” IDF Brig.-Gen. Avi Bluth assessed.
“In the eyes of the enemy, the refugee camp has become a ‘refuge city’ and the IDF’s freedom of action in the area is challenged,” he added.
The general stressed that the Israeli army intended to establish greater operational control in the area.
“We are heading into this operation to change the situation and expand our freedom of action. Our mission: to create operational control, thwart and arrest terrorists, destroy enemy infrastructure, and confiscate weapons.”
The Jewish state reportedly alerted the United States ahead of its large-scale operation in Jenin.
An unnamed senior Israeli official stressed the operation was “unavoidable” and that Washington shared Jerusalem’s goal to stabilize the situation on the ground.
“What the Americans care about is stability and de-escalation, and they know, like we do, that the terrorists want to destabilize and escalate,” stated the official.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.