Jerusalem, Jul 4 (EFE).- A massive Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin appeared to be nearing its conclusion on Tuesday, amid dwindling resistance from Palestinian militants.
Some 3,000 residents of the refugee camp in the city have fled the violence, while Palestinian officials say at least 11 militants have died and 120 people have been wounded since the operation began in the early hours of Monday morning.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed over 1,000 soldiers in the aerial and ground offensive, the largest in the West Bank since the Second Intifada uprising (2000-2005). The Jenin camp is considered a stronghold for Palestinian militants.
IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israeli forces had met “little resistance” during its “raids, ambushes and destruction of explosives laboratories,” largely due to Palestinian militants being “caught by surprise” by the first air raid early on Monday.
Israeli security forces say most of the goals of their campaign have been met, but they were still targeting 10 “terrorist infrastructures” – mainly weapons and explosives manufacturing sites – which they want to dismantle.
Israel has arrested some 120 suspected militants in Jenin since Monday. Most belong to the Jenin Brigade – a collection of fighters from all Palestinian militant factions – which has been behind more than 50 attacks against Israeli targets in the last year, according to the army.
Amid the violence, about 3,000 residents of the refugee camp – home to some 20,000 Palestinians – on Monday night fled their homes, many of which have been completely devastated and left without electricity or water supplies.
This year has been the deadliest in the Palestine-Israel conflict since the Second Intifada. EFE