Conflicts & War

Abbas visits Jenin one week after Israeli raid amid waning influence

Jerusalem, Jul 12 (EFE).- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas visited the Jenin refugee camp Wednesday, one week after an Israeli military operation devastated its infrastructure and left 12 militants dead, as the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) increasingly loses control and legitimacy in the West Bank.

Accompanied by other senior officials such as the prime minister, Mohamed Shtayeh, the vice president of the ruling Fatah party, Mahmud Aloul, a d the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Husein al Shaykh, Abbas arrived by helicopter for a short visit to Jenin, his first since 2012.

According to the official Wafa news agency, his visit was to see first hand “the situation of the citizens and to follow the progress of reconstruction” of the refugee camp, which is still coming to terms with the aftermath and material destruction of last week’s Israeli military offensive.

The raid lasted two days, included 1,000 soldiers and drone attacks, and was the largest since the Second Intifada Palestinian uprising which ended in 2005.

The operation sought to eradicate the Jenin Brigade, a group that unites militants from various Palestinian factions and which gained weight in the countryside since it was founded a year ago, while the PNA led by Abbas and its security forces have lost influence and control of the area.

More than seven days after the Israeli withdrawal, many homes in the camp – home to nearly 24,000 Palestinians – are still without access to water after the local network was destroyed, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The sewage system also suffered “significant damage” and there are “at least eight kilometers of pipes destroyed”, which means that “the camp and the surrounding neighborhoods have no access to drinking water” and at least 40 families – some 173 people, including 65 children – are still displaced and unable to return to their homes.

In addition, according to OCHA, Israeli forces destroyed nearly four kilometers of roads and public roads, creating problems for vehicle access and basic necessities. EFE


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