Israel’s largest military operation in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in more than 20 years has sparked outrage and condemnation from Palestinian leaders and Arab countries, who called it a “new war crime” and a “barbaric aggression”.
The operation, which began on Sunday and lasted for more than 18 hours, involved air strikes and ground raids that killed at least eight Palestinians, including a 16-year-old, and wounded about 100 others.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement that “what the Israeli occupation government is doing in the city of Jenin and its camp is a new war crime against our defenceless people”. He called on the international community to “break its shameful silence and take serious action” to stop the aggression and hold Israel accountable.
The Palestinian foreign ministry said the operation was part of Israel’s official policy “of using military force in dealing with the defenceless Palestinian people as an alternative to political solutions to the conflict”. It urged the International Criminal Court to “start holding the Israel war criminals accountable”.
The Palestinian ambassador to the Arab League called for an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways of effective action at the Arab and international levels to stop the Israeli aggression and request protection for the Palestinians.
The 22-member Arab League issued a statement calling the Israeli actions in Jenin “tantamount to a war crime”, and added that its actions “undermine the endeavors and attempts devoted to reviving peace”.
Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip also organised a rally in solidarity with the people of Jenin, holding flags and banners denouncing the Israeli attack.