Jenin refugee camp is ‘boiling over,’ says Israeli analyst

‘We’re in a war of attrition in Jenin,’ says security expert, warning of rising tensions and increasing Iranian influence in the area.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

As Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists fought in the Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday night, one Israeli analyst compared the latest flare-up in the flashpoint northern Samaria region to a “pot boiling over.”

The Israel Defense Forces said that the raid targeted a senior commander in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is affiliated with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction.

Four Palestinian terrorists were killed and more than 10 others were wounded in the battle, according to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry.

In July, the military carried out a major counterterrorism operation in the city of Jenin, including the UN-administered Jenin refugee camp, which Palestinians have dubbed “the Martyr’s Capital.” The IDF uncovered laboratories for producing bombs, a rocket launcher and other weapons.

Tuesday night’s raid was the third operation in the camp since then. But an analyst told the Tazpit Press Service that although the IDF has demonstrated it has the capability of entering the camp at will, the army hasn’t changed the rules of the game.

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“Iran’s IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps] is supporting terror groups in northern Samaria with money, weapons and expertise,” said Yair Ansbacher, a fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy.

“They’ll continue their efforts without any connection to yesterday. We’re in a war. It’s a different type of war, but it’s still a war, a war of attrition,” he said.

Ansbacher noted rocket launches from the Jenin area, and the use of deadlier improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in recent weeks.

He also stressed a connection between recent Palestinian riots along the Gaza border fence to the situation in Jenin. On Tuesday, Gazans burned tires and detonated explosives at the security fence. Troops responding with crowd dispersal measures, and in some instances, live fire.

“They all have this idea of destroying Israel, and they all have WhatsApp,” Ansbacher said of the Gazans. “They see themselves as brothers in arms. When the pot is boiling, things can spill over from Gaza, or from South Lebanon. Hamas has people in South Lebanon and sometimes, they try to launch rockets from there. It’s a matter of how much fire is under the pot.”

In other counter-terror operations around Judea and Samaria on Tuesday night, Israeli security forces arrested 12 wanted Palestinians and seized weapons in Hebron, the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near Jericho, and several other villages.

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Since the beginning of 2023, Palestinian terror attacks have killed 27 civilians and three soldiers.