Monday’s battle against the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian city and camp of Jenin rang bell with the Israeli occupation, as the eight-hour clashes echoed similar battles in Gaza and south Lebanon, a number of analyses indicated.
Details of the battle, as well as scenes which emerged on social media show how significant the clash was and how the Palestinian resistance managed to develop its capabilities and military tactics.
As they voiced concern over the significances behind the Israeli raid in Jenin, Israeli analysts described the battle as a “turning point.”
Air Power Used for First Time in 20 Years
“Monday’s battle was especially difficult and necessitated using an Apache attack helicopter to help extricate the wounded – the first time air power was used during an operation in Judea and Samaria in some 20 years since the Second Intifada,” The Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon wrote on Tuesday, referring to the Jewish name of the West Bank.
Watch: During today’s assault on Jenin, Palestinian resistance fighters direct a barrage of gunfire at an Israeli attack helicopter, marking its first deployment in two decades. pic.twitter.com/sAnuls1web
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) June 19, 2023
In an article entitled “Look at Jenin for a preview of what awaits the day after Abbas,” Keinon cited former OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Gadi Shamni who said that it is preferable to use ground forces rather than air power during West Bank raids.
“The reason for this is not solely because air power is so much more destructive but also because using air power against West Bank cities only builds up the Palestinian ethos,” he added.
For his part, Ynet’s Yossi Yehushua said that “Israel’s deterrence suffered greatly on Monday, when local residents from the refugee camp, took photos of themselves with parts of the military’s equipment that was left behind,” adding that this “will no doubt motivate terrorists further.”
West Bank Resembles Gaza, South Lebanon
The Israeli analyst added that the Israeli raid in Jenin “will be a turning point in the Israeli military’s operational conduct not only because of the hours it took to extract a troop carrier after it was damaged by an IED but because of the powerful explosive device that illustrates how the area is beginning to resemble South Lebanon” before the Israeli 2,000 withdrawal.
In an article entitled “The West Bank must not be allowed to resemble Gaza,” Yehushua described the militant activity in the West Bank as “an organized effort to deter” Israeli raids and bolster militant control, much like the situation in the Gaza Strip. Yehushua, in this context, emphasized that the Israeli occupation “must not allow this to happen and therefore must find an adequate response to the new and evolving challenges.”
Meanwhile, the JPost’s Khaled Abu Toameh said scenes of Palestinians celebrating with parts of Israeli armored vehicles damaged by explosive devices and Apache helicopters hovering over Jenin are likely to boost the popularity of the resistance groups, most of which are affiliated with Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
He noted that these images create the impression that the Israeli so-called counterterrorism operation, which began several months ago, has failed to eradicate the resistance groups.
“They also create the impression that certain parts of the West Bank, particularly Jenin, are beginning to resemble the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, where the IDF faced similar tactics by Palestinian terror groups and Hezbollah,” Abu Toameh wrote, referring to Israeli occupation forces, in an article entitled “Jenin looking more and more like Gaza, Lebanon.”
“Upgraded, Disturbing” Military Capabilities
On the other hand, Abu Toameh said that Monday’s clashes “are also seen to be an indication of the Palestinian armed groups’ success in upgrading and developing their military capabilities and warfare tactics,” noting that the resistance fighters seem to have gained a lot of experience as a result of almost daily clashes with Israeli security forces.
He quoted a Palestinian security source as saying that the number of fighters in Jenin and other parts of the northern West Bank, including Nablus, exceeded 1,500.
Talking about the military strength of the West Bank-based fighters, Keinon said that using the helicopter gunship to ensure the evacuation of the Israeli soldiers was a reminder to their military capabilities”.
“The fact that the IDF even needed to deploy the helicopter – and, in addition to firing a missile at the gunmen making the evacuation of the wounded difficult, also fired off flares as decoys against shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles – revealed the terrorist capabilities as well.”
“The type of roadside bomb used against the armored IDF vehicles in Jenin on Monday unveiled disturbing military capabilities. This was not only a lone-wolf terrorist shooting at IDF soldiers or passing civilian Israeli motorists. Rather, the building and detonation of this type of bomb indicate a terrorist infrastructure in Jenin of a different league,” Keinon added.
PA Lost Grip in West Bank
Furthermore, Monday’s battle revealed that the Palestinian Authority asserts no control in Jenin nor in the northern West Bank, according to the Israeli analysts.
“Jenin and the northern West Bank have been the focal point of terror against Israel over the last several months because there is no Palestinian governance or monopoly over the use of force there. A vacuum has been created, and in that vacuum, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations simply thrive,” Keinon wrote.
“Jenin today, where the PA has lost its grip, is a chilling preview of what is likely to emerge throughout the West Bank the day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dies or can no longer continue in his current role,” Keinon added.
Yehushua agreed with Keinonin this regard. The analyst said the PA is unable to maintain control, adding that “the future does not bode well.”
He cited Israeli estimations that the “future may be worse since the Palestinian Authority is losing its control over more and more areas.”
After Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas is no longer in office, Hamas will execute its plan to take over power there, Yehushua warned.
Source: Israeli media