Jenin: Fort of resistance; Israel kneels here

Israeli launches largest-ever raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp
Up to 2,000 Israeli special forces, backed by aerial support, used in military offensive 
Palestinian resistance factions fight side by side to defend Jenin 
Israeli troops trapped in a number of Palestinian ambushes 
Casualty figures expected to rise on both sides 
Israel has launched its largest-ever aerial and ground raid on Jenin, starting in the early hours of Monday morning. Reports say some 2,000 special forces backed by air support had been dispatched to the flashpoint-occupied city and its large adjacent refugee camp. 
It is the latest in a series of Israeli raids on Jenin, where war crimes have been committed. But it is certainly the largest. 
The regime tried to take the Palestinians by surprise at around 2 am local time, with drones striking a residential building, which the Israeli military claims were the command operational headquarters of the newly formed resistance groups. 
Between 1,000 to 2,000 Israeli special forces, backed by air support, heavily armed military vehicles and bulldozers, then stormed Jenin from four sides, setting off fierce armed clashes with the Jenin brigade affiliated with the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. 
By dawn, the large-scale offensive triggered calls from loudspeakers across the West Bank’s mosque minarets for resistance fighters to join forces with Palestinians defending Jenin and fight the occupation troops, side by side. 
* At least eight Palestinians have been killed, including three minors and dozens of others injured, many in serious condition. A ninth Palestinian was also shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Ramallah, according to Al Jazeera.
Reports say the regime’s Rambam Hospital has acknowledged that two Israeli troops had been killed, and others had sustained injuries.
The Palestinian resistance said it has inflicted heavy damage on Israeli forces in a number of ambushes. 
“It is targeting the occupation’s special forces, who have barricaded themselves in a house, and are showering them with heavy bullets and bombs,” the Jenin Brigade announced. The brigade said, “Their members ambushed the occupation troops from the Egoz unit.”
It also announced that its fighters “ended an infiltrating Zionist force at one axis after besieging it, and left the members of its division dead and wounded.”
The resistance said it “lured a Zionist force on the axis and targeted it with heavy arms.”
Furthermore, the resistance faction said it “was able to thwart the occupation forces’ attempt to advance on this axis, despite Israeli air strikes.”
In another operation, the Jenin Brigade announced it had “shot down a third Israeli drone” in the refugee camp.
The Jenin Brigade further announced that it had set the occupation forces stationed at a field off Jenin on fire during the battle and detonated a number of explosives against the Israeli forces, causing direct casualties among the ranks of the occupation regime’s troops. The resistance also declared it had carried out an ambush near the al-Ansar Mosque in the camp. 
By 5 pm local time, heavy clashes were reported to be ongoing, in particular at the vicinity of al-Ansar Mosque, which had been besieged by Israeli forces.
Throughout the day, reports emerged of Israeli air raids in Jenin striking homes and cars and resistance forces detonating explosive devices against the Israeli military. 
Israeli air strikes destroyed the electricity transformer near Jenin Hospital. And then went on to cut off electricity and water supply to the refugee camp.  
The Jenin Brigade also called for the mobilization of all its forces operating everywhere, saying in a statement, “Let the enemy know that it will pay a heavy price with its blood as a result of these crimes that it commits daily against our people and our resistance fighters.”  The statement added, “The criminal Netanyahu and his army leaders should know that we have prepared well for this day.”
As Israel attacked Jenin, Palestinians in cities across the West Bank took to the streets in protest, chanting slogans in support of the Jenin Brigade and other resistance factions that had joined the battlefield. 
A 21-year-old Palestinian civilian was wounded in the head by live fire in Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 
The skies of Jenin and its refugee camp witnessed the intense flights of Israeli Apache helicopters as well as combat and reconnaissance drones. Palestinian sources said the occupation used warplanes to target a site in the al-Hadaf neighborhood West of the refugee camp. 
Amid the battle, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement said Jenin will teach Israel a lesson again, and the resistance in Jenin has better capabilities than before. It added that the occupation will fail in its attempts to invade Jenin. 
Israeli media reported that in the aftermath of the aggression in Jenin, the deployment of Israel’s so-called Iron Dome had been strengthened, fearing a backlash from the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israeli Army Radio reported that the military operation in Jenin was “extensive” and approved by the prime minister and minister of war a week ago. It added that the aggression will continue until the regime’s military goals are achieved.
Lynn Hastings, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator, said she was “alarmed” at the “scale of Israeli forces operation in Jenin.” 
In a post on social media, she added that “airstrikes were used in the densely populated refugee camp” and that “access to all injured must be ensured.”
The violent confrontations between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli special forces triggered strong reactions from the Gaza Strip, which held “the Zionist enemy fully responsible for all the consequences of this aggression”. It stressed that “the resistance will confront the enemy and defend the Palestinian people, and all options are open to striking the enemy in response to its aggression in Jenin.”
Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas political bureau chief, called on “our people in all parts of the West Bank to stand by Jenin and defend its people in order to thwart the enemy’s plan,” stressing that the bloodshed on the land of Jenin will determine the nature of the next stage in all directions and paths. The Hamas chief also warned, “Our people and their resistance in all their places of presence know how to respond to this barbaric aggression.” A recent Israeli raid on Jenin saw Apache helicopters used for the first time in 20 years and left seven Palestinians dead, but failed to crush the resistance. A swift retaliation followed. The brutality of this latest raid, the largest in at least two decades, will no doubt have similar consequences.  Jenin has a tiny population, yet it has led the armed resistance against Israel, with numerous retaliatory operations originating from the occupied city and its ghetto-like refugee camp. 
For two years, Israel has tried to crush the emerging resistance with almost daily pre-dawn raids. 
Yet, the more force Israel uses against Jenin, the Resistance emerges more and more powerful. 
The city has the support of the people of the occupied West Bank, as evidenced by Monday’s events that saw other resistance fighters rush to help and the wave of demonstrations in support of Jenin.
By Ali Karbalaei
First published in Tehran Times

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