The following is excerpted from the desk of Rebecca Caspi, Jewish Federations of North America Senior Vice President Israel and Overseas, Director General Israel Office. ISSUED July 5, 2023. This is a developing story as additional terrorist activity and additional fatalities were sadly reported after this statement was issued.
Following a difficult day in Israel, Israeli troops have withdrawn from Jenin, signaling the end of the two-day IDF operation there. One Israeli soldier was killed as the fighting drew to a close. Also yesterday, nine Israeli civilians were injured during a terror attack in North Tel Aviv. The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Fund for the Victims of Terror, supported by Jewish Federations, is in the process of completing the distribution of emergency funds to all the victims of yesterday’s attack.
Israel launched Operation Home and Garden to root out terrorists and terror infrastructure from the Palestinian city of Jenin. That operation has now concluded and all Israeli forces have left the city. During the withdrawal, one Israeli soldier, David Yehuda Yitzchak z”l, was killed by what may have been friendly fire. His funeral was held today.
At one point during yesterday’s fighting in Jenin, a number of terrorists barricaded themselves inside a mosque. In the ensuing firefight, the mosque was captured by Israeli troops who discovered a network of tunnels that the terrorists had dug under the mosque. The tunnels were also used to store explosives and other weapons (see more here).
Palestinian media is reporting widespread damage to infrastructure in Jenin as a result of Israeli actions. The IDF says it was forced to use heavy equipment on numerous roads and other areas in order to remove a large number of roadside bombs and other terror targets. Israel has committed to repair – in coordination with the Palestinian Authority – essential civilian infrastructure (for water and electricity) damaged by troops due to the fighting.
In what the IDF says is a testament to its high level of intelligence, professionalism and care for human life, despite two days of heavy fighting – that included armored vehicles and aerial attacks – no civilians were killed during the operation. Palestinian sources do not dispute this fact.
The IDF summarized its two-day operation in Jenin with the following results:
- 3 Palestinian terrorists killed.
- 30 terrorists arrested.
- 14 apartments containing terror bases were destroyed.
- 3 terror command and control centers were destroyed.
- A large network of CCTV cameras that had been deployed throughout Jenin and used against IDF troops was discovered.
- 6 bomb-manufacturing sites were destroyed.
- Over 1,000 explosive devices were captured, including large road-side bombs and other IEDs.
- 32 guns (24 M16 rifles + 8 handguns), along with thousands of rounds of ammunition were captured.
- Dozens of kilograms of chemical materials used for bomb-making were discovered.
- Hundreds of thousands of shekels in cash, designated for terror purposes, were confiscated.
- 6 underground tunnels used for hiding terrorists, explosives and ammunition were uncovered and destroyed.
- 2 weapons storage facilities were destroyed.
As always, Jewish Federations of North America are hoping that quiet prevails. We are keeping a close watch on developments and will report as needed.