Israel’s Ground Offensive in Jenin Recalls Memories of the Battle of 2002


As Israel conducts a massive ground offensive in the densely populated Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in the northern West Bank, the echoes of the events that unfolded during the Battle of Jenin in 2002 are evoked once again. The Occupied Palestinian Territories situation has not changed much in 21 years, and with the emergence of the Israeli extreme right, there is less chance for a peaceful conclusion. Concerns about the humanitarian situation and the possibility of future escalation have been raised by the recent assault, which was characterised by aircraft bombardments, ground invasions, and fighting.

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Over 22,000 Palestinians driven from their homes during the 1948 Nakba now reside in Jenin, primarily made up of camps built in the 1950s. The enclave is significant for Palestinians since it stands for armed resistance against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. On the other hand, Israelis see Jenin as a hub of militancy, home to various organisations, including Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas.

Israeli bulldozers’ erection of dirt mounds to separate the Jenin refugee camp from the city has sparked worries about a potential humanitarian disaster. The Palestinian population has suffered a large number of casualties as a result of the airstrikes and ground actions. The resident humanitarian coordinator for the UN has demanded that all injured people have access to medical care.

The Israeli offensive has drawn strong condemnation from various quarters. The spokesperson for the Palestinian president called it a war crime committed on helpless people while reiterating that the Palestinians will not submit. The Arab League’s secretary general denounced the bombs and the devastation of homes and roads as collective punishment and warned that things might worsen.

Israeli military spokespeople have justified the attacks as a part of a mission to reduce friction for the ground troops and destroy what they believe to be a refuge for potential attackers. According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration, the Jenin offensive is defeating militants there. The operation, which involves a sizable number of soldiers and drones, is anticipated to go on for several days.

Instead of recognising it as a security partner throughout time, Israeli governments have adopted policies that have damaged the Palestinian Authority. At the same time, far-right settlement organisations in Israel have increased their political influence, undercutting groups who favour a two-state solution. These elements have led to Palestinians’ dissatisfaction with the Abbas administration’s policies and the armed groups’ rising popularity in Jenin and other cities.

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Recollections of the Battle of Jenin in 2002 have been reawakened by the continuing ground offensive in the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp. Over the previous two decades, there hasn’t been much improvement in the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the Israeli extreme right has gained ground. Humanitarian issues are brought up by the attack on Jenin, and there is a chance that things could get worse. While the offensive has drawn criticism from around the world, Israeli authorities insist they are focusing on terrorist infrastructure. The historical background and current political climate in the area add to the situation’s complexity, making a peaceful conclusion more and more improbable.



Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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