Marching raid… a “risky” Israeli strategy in the West Bank

The Israeli military has become increasingly dependent on drone airstrikes in the West Bank, although this strategy “risks reactivating armed groups,” according to a report in the US Washington Post.

According to the newspaper, “The change in Israel’s security strategy in the West Bank is the result of the escalation of the war in Gaza.”

Experts said Israeli operations in West Bank cities since October 7 have been characterized by what authorities describe as “preventive arrests for security reasons and increased use of drone strikes in areas where Palestinian militants are active.” .

According to the Israeli military, Israel has arrested at least 1,570 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, around 180 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers or settlers in one month.

The IDF “doesn’t want to try too hard,” said Joe Trozman, a research analyst at The Long War Journal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “If something happens in the north, they don’t want the forces to be tied down.” in the West Bank.” , which they may need.

He noted that drones, in particular, are intended to send a “message of deterrence” in a place where until recently there had been no talk of airstrikes.

The Al-Hurra website was unable to obtain comment from the Israeli military.

As a result, according to the newspaper, anger has increased in Palestinian communities in the face of these Israeli operations and “promises of revenge” have spread, especially in the Jenin refugee camp, in the north of the West Bank.

An infinite battlefield… facts on the Jenin field

The military operation conducted by the Israeli army in Jenin is the deadliest in the West Bank since 2005, according to United Nations statistics, and the Jenin camp is usually the arena that witnesses the most violent clashes between Israeli security forces and militants of the Palestinian factions. in the northern West Bank.

With 14 people killed in a single day, the battle around the Jenin camp on November 9 was the bloodiest since 2005, when the United Nations began counting the number of deaths in Israeli operations in the West Bank.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it had “used aircraft as part of a comprehensive operation in Jenin” on Thursday, when ground forces entered the camp in search of explosives.

He added: “As part of the operation, the terrorists opened fire and threw explosives at our forces, who responded by firing at them.”

The Jenin refugee camp is one of 19 camps established in the West Bank after hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes in 1948.

The Palestinian camp was the scene of Israeli army activity, even before the war that broke out on October 7 between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The Washington Post noted that Israeli military activities in the camp since March 2022 “have led this year to the emergence of a new generation of fighters who have launched attacks against Israeli forces and civilians.”

Analysts noted that “after a major operation carried out by Israeli forces in July, which left at least 12 Palestinians dead and 100 injured, the streets of Jenin were unusually quiet.”

“The Palestinian Authority and Israel were able to co-opt, arrest or kill most of the militants, so for a while we didn’t see weapons everywhere,” said Tahani Mustafa, senior Palestinian affairs analyst at International Crisis Group. .

He added that “through its latest raid, Israel has essentially succeeded in rekindling the spark” in Jenin.

He continued: “Israel is resuming its operations, and this is exactly what ultimately led to the reestablishment of these (extremist) groups. It’s a recurring context.”

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