Israel carries out airstrikes on Gaza amid withdrawal of troops from Jenin

Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 5, 2023.  Reuters/File
Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 5, 2023. Reuters/File
  • The death toll in the latest Tel Aviv operation has risen to 12.
  • Gaza fired five rockets amid Israeli army withdrawal.
  • Janine sees limited access to water, electricity, medical facilities.

Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, responding to rockets fired from the Palestinian coastline, while troops withdrew from the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank after one of the biggest military operations.

Israeli forces retreated from the Jenin refugee camp as the UN human rights chief called for an end to two days of violence in Tel Aviv.

Residents were seen returning to the Jenin refuge and assessing the damage following the withdrawal of forces.

At least 12 Palestinians were killed, one Israeli soldier was killed, and nearly 100 others were wounded in the attack, which began with a drone strike early Monday and caused widespread destruction in a refugee camp in Jenin.

More than 1,000 troops were deployed in Jenin under the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The army said that five rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel a few hours after the army’s withdrawal. The rockets were intercepted, and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

In response, Israeli jets struck an underground weapons manufacturing facility, the army said, but it was not immediately clear whether there would be any further escalation.

On Tuesday, a car-rambling and knife attack claimed by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israel’s business hub of Tel Aviv worsened, injuring eight people.

Doctors Without Borders said Israeli forces fired tear gas at a hospital where its teams were working.

However, the Israeli army said it had no information about firing by its forces around the hospital, but that it had launched an airstrike on gunmen who had taken up positions in a cemetery and posed a threat to retreating soldiers. Was.

“At the moment we are carrying out missions, and I can say that our extensive activity in Jenin is not a one-off operation,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a checkpoint near the city.

limited medical access

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry termed the escalation an “open war against the people of Jenin”.

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders also condemned Israeli forces for firing tear gas inside the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, calling it “unacceptable”.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila also accused the army of firing on Palestinians in the courtyard of the Jenin Public Hospital.

“Israeli aggression reached its peak this afternoon when civilians were fired directly into the courtyard of the Jenin hospital, injuring three of them, two of them seriously,” the minister told reporters. He said the forces had also stormed the Ibn Sina hospital.

The Israeli army said there were reports on social media of soldiers firing at a hospital.

“The report is currently not known to the security forces,” it said, adding that “terrorist organizations have used civilian areas as hideouts.”

Shops were closed in Jenin amid a general strike, and the nearly empty streets were strewn with rubble and burnt-out streets.

“The most dangerous is what happened inside the camp, where there is no electricity, no water and no roads for those who need to go to the hospital,” said Nidal Abu Saleh, the mayor of Jenin. AFP,

no electricity, water or supplies

Palestinian fighters from groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah had fortified the camp with roadblocks and observation posts to counter regular army raids.

Power and water supplies were cut off in the camp and some areas of the city, as cables and main water pipes were cut as bulldozers dug up roads in search of improvised bombs.

Thousands have been evacuated from the Jenin refugee camp.

Islamic Jihad claimed that four of the 12 killed were its fighters. Hamas claimed a fifth.

Israeli officials said that as far as they were aware, no civilians had been killed.

The United States said it respected Israel’s right to defend itself, but said it was necessary to avoid civilian casualties, which Tel Aviv claimed were zero.

The European Union said it was gravely concerned by the escalation of tensions and UN bodies expressed concern at the scale of the military crackdown.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council said it would meet behind closed doors as requested by the United Arab Emirates.

‘Violence must stop’

The United Nations condemned the violence in Tel Aviv and Jenin.

The recent operation in the occupied West Bank and the car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv worryingly underscore an all too familiar pattern of events: violence only begets more violence,” daily saba UN human rights chief Volker Turk has been quoted as saying.

Turk said, “The killing, maiming and destruction of property must stop.”

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. The conflict has worsened since the beginning of last year, and has escalated further under a Netanyahu government that includes extreme-right allies.

The Palestinians, who want their own independent state, want Israel to withdraw from all land it seized in 1967 and destroy all Jewish settlements.

However, Netanyahu has promised to “consolidate the settlements” and has expressed no interest in reviving peace talks, which have been deadlocked since 2014.

According to one report, at least 190 Palestinians, 26 Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian have been killed this year. AFP Compiled calculations from official sources on both sides.

These include fighters and civilians from the Palestinian side, and most civilians from the Israeli side and three members of the Arab minority.

Additional input from agencies.

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