Dear Friends,

Overnight, the IDF launched a significant operation in the city of Jenin.

Last night, around 1:00am, Israeli forces surrounded Jenin, blocking all entrances and exits to the city, and then launched its largest operation in the area since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005 (see background below). Hundreds of IDF troops, including from the infantry and armored corps, were supported by at least ten air attacks in a major incursion into the city. Some seven Palestinians are reported killed and one IDF soldier was lightly injured.

The operation was approved by Israel’s Cabinet ten days ago, but the IDF waited until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha concluded before launching. The main target was the terror organizations’ unified command and control center (see photo here), which was located alongside a United Nations school (see satellite photo here) in addition to arms production facilities and weapons storage sites. Photos of parts of improvised rockets confiscated in Jenin can be seen here. At the time of writing, exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants are ongoing.

IDF heavy vehicles have also been clearing trees and bushes alongside roads on the outskirts of Jenin, where a roadside bomb was detonated last week, damaging an IDF armored vehicle and injuring ten soldiers.

Through intermediaries, Israel has warned terror groups in Gaza and Lebanon not to become involved in the fighting.

Earlier this morning, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “Over the past hours, our security forces have been operating against terror hotspots in the city of Jenin. In the face of terrorism, we will take a proactive and decisive approach. Anyone who harms the citizens of Israel, will pay a heavy price. We are closely watching the actions of our enemies and Israel’s defense establishment is prepared for every scenario.”

Jewish Federations continue to monitor the situation closely and will update as needed.


Following the Oslo Accords, in 1995 the West Bank was divided into three areas:

• Area A – Contains the vast majority of Palestinian residents, and is under full Palestinian Authority control. It is comprised mainly of the large Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, (most of ) Hebron, Tul Karem and others. No Israeli citizens live in Area A, and they are forbidden by law from entering.

• Area B – Includes less-populated West Bank territory, and dozens of Palestinian villages and other population centers. It is administered by the Palestinian Authority, but the IDF is in charge of security in the area. No Israeli Jews live in Area B, but they are permitted to pass through.

• Area C – Includes a small portion of the Palestinian population and the entire Jewish Israeli population of the West Bank. It is controlled entirely by Israel.

From the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, it became clear that cities in Area A had emerged as centers of terror operations, but the IDF was not permitted to enter those territories. As attacks on Israeli civilians mounted, pressure grew on the security forces to enter Area A. Following the Passover attack on the Park Hotel in 2002 that left more than 30 people dead, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, an operation to root out terror infrastructure, including by entering Area A.

Since that time, while there is no permanent Israeli presence in Area A, IDF forces enter the territory in short, limited operations.

In recent years and months, the Palestinian Authority has become weaker, especially in the shadow of the failing health of its aging leader, President Mahmoud Abbas. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been stepping into that void and the city of Jenin has emerged as the center of their operations and infrastructure. The IDF claims that over 50 terror attacks emanated from Jenin, claiming 15 lives; and over 19 terrorists have tried to escape to the city after carrying out attacks in recent months (see details here). In addition, a rocket was fired into Israel from Jenin, but did not hit Israeli territory. Limited Israeli incursions into the city until today have proved to be only moderately successful in arresting terrorists and destroying terror infrastructure.

Rebecca Caspi
Senior Vice President Israel and Overseas
Director General, Israel Office



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