Palestinians in Jenin brace for more Israeli attacks, expect slow reconstruction

Palestinians in Jenin brace for more Israeli attacks, expect slow reconstruction
4 min read
West Bank
11 July, 2023
As Palestinians in Jenin still assess the losses caused by the latest Israeli attack, residents expect further Israeli raids on the camp soon.
A week after latest Israeli attack, Palestinians in Jenin still await reconstruction. [Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

Palestinians in Jenin brace for more destructive Israeli attacks after last week's Israeli military operation that killed at least 12 Palestinians in the refugee camp and wounded more than 100, residents told The New Arab.

Israeli forces conducted, last week, a 48-hour-long raid into the Jenin camp that destroyed large parts of the camp's infrastructure. Israeli forces used drone strikes and military D-9 bulldozers during the attack, described as the largest and most brutal Israeli raid on Jenin since 2002.

Shortly after the attack, the Israeli army's spokesperson claimed that raids on Jenin would continue at some point in the future. For their part, residents also said that they expect a new raid at any moment.

Jenin / Qassam Muaddi
The Israeli attack on Jeninn destroyed most of the infrastructure in the refugee camp.
[Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

"We know that Jenin has become a main target for the occupation", Mostafa Shita, director of the Jenin Freedom Theater, told TNA. "Jenin is located at the northmost edge of the West Bank, minutes away from Israel's 1948 boundaries, and the occupation can't stand the fact of an active, armed resistance developing here", said Shita.

"The occupation's raids have been increasing in regularity and violence in latest months, and lately Israeli politicians have been calling for raiding Jenin," he pointed out. "This makes us conclude that the pattern we have seen will only continue in the future."

"We understand that Jenin has taken a way of resistance that the occupation doesn't tolerate," the grandmother of the Abu Karam family in the camp told TNA.

"This is why we know this attack will not be the last," she said.

Israeli forces took over the Abu Karam family's house during the attack after they fled the camp, along with 3000 other Palestinians. "When we came back, we found that the occupation soldiers had blown up the courtyard, destroyed furniture and taken food out of the fridge and thrown it on the ground," described the grandmother.

"They came with the intention of causing harm, which makes us think that they haven't had enough," she noted.

"Yet, our house was lucky not to be completely destroyed, like other houses in the camp," she added.

At the Abu Baker family's house, residents continued to take out destroyed furniture through a large hole in the front wall three days after the attack ended. The walls and soil were burned inside the house and covered with black smoke stains.

Jenin / Qassam Muaddi
Many houses were partially or destroyed by Israeli forces during the latest Israeli raid on Jenin [Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

"The occupation soldiers fired a shoulder missile through the wall, which caused the fire to consume the entire house," the mother explains. "Fortunately, we had all left by then".

"Destruction is so large that we won't be able to live in our house again for years; we lost everything," she said.

"It is impossible to calculate how long it will take to have our home back," Abu Baker's eldest son told TNA as he came out from behind a partially-destroyed wall, with his hands and face stained in black.

"I've been unsuccessfully trying to repair a water tube since early in the morning because it's molten into the wall; we will surely need to destroy part of the house and just build it up again, which is too expensive for us to do right now," he added.

Residents also confirmed that water and electricity were cut off from most of the camp's households as Israeli forces, damaging services infrastructure, bulldozed central streets.

On Thursday, a Palestinian Authority's ministerial committee issued an assessment report after visiting the Jenin camp, saying the reconstruction would cost some $15 million.

On Monday, the PA announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Jenin on Wednesday as the PA continues to fundraise for the rebuilding of the camp. The UAE pledged a $15 million package to help reconstruction efforts, and Algeria pledged another $30 million.

Jenin / Qassam Muaddi
According to the Palestinian Authority, the reconstruction of the Jenin camp will cost $ 15 million. [Qassam Muaddi /TNA]

Popular campaigns across the West Bank have raised hundreds of thousands of shekels, according to separate grassroots announcements, while campaigning continues.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli military raids into Palestinian cities have killed 205 Palestinians since the beginning of the year, including 64 in Jenin alone.