Israel Completes Jenin Mission; No Palestinian Civilian Deaths

Jenin IDF (Nasser Ishtayeh/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)
Nasser Ishtayeh/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) pulled out of Jenin on Wednesday after an intense 48-hour campaign against Palestinian terrorists in which one Israeli soldier, and no Palestinian civilians, were killed.

The pullout came after the IDF used drones, air strikes, and commando raids to target terrorist sites in the so-called “refugee camp” — referred to as such because it was settled by those fleeing Israel’s 1948 war of independence, largely at the behest of invading Arab nations.

One such site was a mosque, which was being used as a weapons cache and a fortified stronghold for terrorist guerillas, with a tunnel dug underneath the building. Palestinian terrorists frequently use religious sites and sites near civilian infrastructure to maximize outrage if and when they are targeted by Israel.

The Times of Israel reported: “The operation has focused on a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group known as the Jenin Battalion, as well as other smaller armed groups in the city and refugee camp.”

One Israeli soldier, Sgt. First Class David Yehuda Yitzhak, was killed as the IDF was withdrawing from the narrow streets and alleyways of the camp. It was unclear if he was hit by Palestinian gunmen or by “friendly fire.” An investigation by the IDF is currently underway.

The IDF announced that there had been no Palestinian civilians killed — though several were reportedly wounded.

The Times of Israel reported that Palestinians claimed that there were 12 people killed. 

The IDF said that 18 Palestinians had been killed, all combatants, though it acknowledged that there had been some non-combatants wounded.

The issue is particularly important because of false claims in 2002 that Israel killed civilians intentionally when it invaded Jenin in “Operation Defensive Shield,” a massive counterterror operation at the time.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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