Israeli troops pull back from West Bank

The IDF has begun the withdrawal of over 1,000 troops involved in the largest military campaign in the Palestinian city of Jenin in 20 years

Israeli troops pull back from West Bank
5 Jul, 2023 01:52 HomeWorld News

Israeli troops pull back from West Bank

An IDF soldier was killed while securing the withdrawal from the Palestinian territory

The Israel Defense Forces has begun a gradual withdrawal of over 1,000 troops involved in the largest military campaign in the Palestinian city and refugee camp of Jenin in two decades. The raid was aimed at eradicating a “terrorist stronghold,” and according to PM Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to last until this goal is achieved.

Some Israeli troops were seen leaving the West Bank while other units secured their pullout on Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, nearly two days into the operation, according to local media reports.

The military has yet to confirm whether the withdrawal was partial or full, but IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari insisted the operation would only be considered complete once all Israeli forces safely left the area.

A non-commissioned officer from the elite Egoz commando unit, was fatally wounded amid sporadic clashes, the Times of Israel reported. The military was investigating whether he was killed by Palestinian gunfire or “friendly fire” by other Israeli units, according to Hagari.

The IDF began its raid around 1am Monday, with multiple air- and drone strikes and a major ground offensive, targeting “terrorist infrastructure” of the local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, known as the Jenin Battalion, and other militant groups. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the operation would “continue as long as it takes to complete the mission,” calling Jenin a “safe haven for terrorism” while describing the West Bank militants as “the most legitimate target on the planet.”

Since then, the Israeli forces allegedly killed 18 Palestinian gunmen and questioned over 300 suspected militants, with 30 of them detained pending further investigation. The military also confiscated dozens of rifles and handguns, as well as bomb-making materials, while demolishing over a dozen weapon storage sites and explosives labs, as well as three “war rooms.”

Palestinian health ministry said at least 13 people were killed in the past two days, and some 100 others were wounded in Israeli airstrikes and chaotic clashes.