Tel Aviv [Israel], July 5 (ANI): The Israeli forces concluded their — largest military operation in decades — in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday during which at least 12 Palestinians were killed and dozens more wounded, New York Times reported.
One Israeli soldier was also killed in the operation.
Thousands of Palestinians were sent fleeing from their homes over the past two days.
Israel’s chief military spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, confirmed the operation in Jenin, which focused on the refugee camp in the city, was over.
“All our troops are out of the camp,” he told Kan News, Israel’s public radio station. Hagari added that he expects that the Israeli military would have to return to the area again in the future.
Meanwhile, Palestinians in Jenin joined a mass funeral on Wednesday, to honour those who were killed in the operation. The event was also broadcasted live on local television, the NYT reported.
Scores of residents returned to the camp to find damaged cars and homes, as well as roads torn up by Israeli bulldozers.
Nidal Obeidi, the city’s mayor, told the radio station Voice of Palestine that he had received an outpouring of support and solidarity from Palestinian cities across the West Bank.
“It’s honestly difficult to calculate the damages,” Obeidi said. “They’ve damaged the streets, pavements and infrastructure,” he added. “Every Palestinian official is working to help Jenin,” NYT quoted Obeidi as saying.
The Israeli operation in Jenin began on Monday with the most intense Israeli airstrikes on the West Bank in nearly two decades, NYT reported.
According to Israel, the operation was aimed at “rooting out armed Palestinians” after dozens of shooting attacks on Israelis had originated from the area over the past year.
Jenin is known as a stronghold for the two main Palestinian militant groups, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, NYT reported.
The city had been at the centre of escalating tensions and violence in the year leading up to the incursion.
Earlier in the day, the Israeli military, struck two sites in Gaza in response to the rocket fire on the southern region hours earlier, The Times of Israel reported citing the army.
The air strike in Gaza came as a massive military operation in the West Bank drew to a close, with hundreds of Israeli troops withdrawing from Jenin after two days of intense fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp.
Warplanes struck “an underground weapons workshop used by the chemical unit of the Hamas terror group and a site for processing rocket components,” the Israel Defence Forces said in a statement just before 5:30 am.
The Defence Forces said that the strike was retaliation for the rocket fire on southern Israel earlier in the day.
Over 1,000 IDF troops were involved in the campaign, which appeared to be the largest in the West Bank in some 20 years. (ANI)
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