Israel’s recent military operation in the Jenin refugee camp has sparked significant violence and casualties, prompting United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to address the situation. Guterres described the airstrikes and ground operations as the most severe violence witnessed in the West Bank in years.
The two-day assault, which commenced on Monday morning, involved airstrikes and missile attacks launched from drones. Israel claimed that the operation was a counter-terror effort. However, according to the Palestinian health ministry, the assault resulted in the deaths of 12 individuals, including three children. Furthermore, approximately 120 people sustained injuries, with 20 remaining in critical condition.
The clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants escalated into intense gun battles, causing significant damage to infrastructure, homes, and properties. Reports suggest that around 3,000 individuals were compelled to evacuate their homes due to the violence.
In an act of apparent retaliation for the Jenin operation, a car ramming incident occurred in Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, leaving nine people injured. The Palestinian man responsible for driving the vehicle into pedestrians was shot and killed at the scene. As tensions persisted, Israel responded to a rocket launch from southern Lebanon with artillery fire on Thursday.
António Guterres, addressing journalists at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, expressed concern over the extent of the damage inflicted on schools, hospitals, water networks, and electricity infrastructure in Jenin. He emphasized the importance of providing medical care to the injured and enabling humanitarian workers to reach those in need. Guterres called on Israel to uphold its international obligations, including the responsible use of force and the protection of civilians.
The Secretary-General highlighted that the use of airstrikes during law enforcement operations is inconsistent with established norms and stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, bears the responsibility of safeguarding civilians against violence.
While acknowledging Israel’s legitimate security concerns, Guterres cautioned against escalation, emphasizing that it only reinforces radicalization and perpetuates a cycle of violence and bloodshed. He urged Israel to embrace a two-State solution and put an end to the occupation, as this would not only contribute to the security of Israel but also restore hope to the Palestinian people.
In conclusion, the recent military operations in the Jenin refugee camp have resulted in significant casualties and damage to infrastructure. The Secretary-General’s remarks stress the need for Israel to adhere to international law, exercise restraint, and prioritize the protection of civilian lives.
The call for a two-State solution and an end to the occupation underscores the long-term interests of both Israel and Palestine in achieving a peaceful resolution.