Fighting Anti-Israeli Bias

Countering
Item 7

THE UNHRC'S STANDING AGENDA ITEM
TARGETING ISRAEL

Claims

Claim 41: Israel’s July 2023 Israeli Raid in Jenin Targeted Civilians

examples

Mauritania, 53rd Session

“My country condemns what happened in Jenin and its camp, where the occupation forces invaded the Jenin refugee camp, which resulted in the death of 12 martyrs and the injury of more than 100 people, and 3,000 people were forcibly deported from their homes.”

Iraq, 53rd Session

“Iraq condemns in the strongest terms the continuing crimes of the occupying power against the defenseless Palestinian people, especially its recent aggression against the city and camp of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which claimed the lives of dozens of martyrs and wounded…”

Qatar, 53rd Session

“We strongly condemn the recent Israeli aggression against the Jenin camp, the displacement of Palestinian families and the killing of children..”

the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), 53rd Session

“The GCC countries condemn the methods and pretexts used by the Israeli occupation to violate the rights of the Palestinian people… the latest of which was against the city and camp of Jenin, which targeted civilians, children and women in civilian neighborhoods…”

Our Response

UN Watch

UN Watch RESPONSE

These accusations criticize Israel’s July 3, 2023 counterterrorism operation in the Jenin refugee camp known as Operation House and Garden. These statements by, among others, the GCC, Qatar, Iraq, and Mauritania, falsely accuse Israel of targeting Palestinian civilians, killing “dozens,” and “deporting” thousands of Palestinians from their homes.

The 48-hour Operation House and Garden was conducted in response to deadly terrorism being perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists from Jenin, including at least 50 shooting attacks in 2022 and 2023 and two rocket launchings the previous month.[1] Also in June 2023, eight Israeli soldiers were injured by an IED in Jenin during a routine arrest operation leading the Israeli army to deploy an Apache helicopter to extract them.[2]

The IDF carried out Operation House and Garden in an extremely precise manner to minimize casualties. As a result, only 12 Palestinians were killed, all of whom were militants affiliated with different Palestinian terror groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.[3] The fact that some of these were under age 18 does not establish any violation by Israel as Qatar and the GCC suggest, but rather proves only that Palestinian terror groups cynically exploit Palestinian children by using child soldiers in violation of international law. One Israeli soldier was also killed.[4] Furthermore, while there were reports that some 4,000 Palestinians fled during the fighting, Israel did not order an evacuation and they returned when the fighting ended.[5]

During the raid, Israeli troops found some 1,000 IEDs, dozens of weapons manufacturing sites, underground tunnels including two which were located in a mosque, safe houses, and command and operation centers including an operational headquarters located near an UNRWA school.[6] Fighting took place in civilian areas resulting in damage to civilian infrastructure because the Palestinian terrorists embedded themselves in civilian areas. In particular, the IDF dug up some of the roads where it had intelligence about IEDs that could be detonated against troops.[7]

Military expert Col. Richard Kemp lauded the operation as a “remarkable achievement, probably unprecedented in modern warfare” where he explained that similar operations by Western armies have often resulted in casualty ratios of 3 to 5 civilians killed for every fighter. “I doubt any other army in the world would be able to achieve what the IDF did in Jenin,” Kemp concluded.[8]

[1] Emanuel Fabian, IDF strikes in Jenin, launches major counterterrorism campaign; 8 Palestinians killed, Times of Israel (July 3, 2023), https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-strikes-in-jenin-large-numbers-of-forces-reported-to-converge-on-west-bank-city/; Why did Israel attack Jenin? West Bank operation explained, Reuters (July 5, 2023), https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/why-is-israel-attacking-jenin-west-bank-operation-explained-2023-07-04/.

[2] Ali Sawafta, Israeli troops, backed by helicopter, kill 5 Palestinians in clash, Reuters (June 20, 2023), https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israeli-forces-kill-2-palestinians-west-bank-clash-medics-say-2023-06-19/.

[3] enin Battalion announces the martyrdom of eight of its resistance fighters, Al-Quds (July 5, 2023), https://www.alquds.com/en/posts/78357?language=ar; Israeli Security Force Operation in Jenin and the Jenin Refugee Camp Review and Summary, Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (July 9, 2023), https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/app/uploads/2023/07/E_130_23.pdf.

[4] Enia Krivine and Jow Truzman, IDF Dismantles Terrorist Infrastructure in 48-hour operation in Jenin, FDD (July 7, 2023), https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2023/07/07/idf-dismantles-terror-infrastructure-in-48-hour-operation-in-jenin/.

[5] Id; Palestinians grapple with large-scale destruction in Jenin following Israeli withdrawal, Times of Israel (July 5, 2023), https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-grapple-with-large-scale-damage-in-jenin-following-israeli-withdrawal/.

[6] Israeli Security Force Operation in Jenin and the Jenin Refugee Camp Review and Summary, Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (July 9, 2023), https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/app/uploads/2023/07/E_130_23.pdf; Israeli Security Force Activity and Initial Reactions As of 1 p.m., July 3, 2023, Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/app/uploads/2023/07/E_126_23.pdf.

[7] Palestinians grapple with large-scale destruction in Jenin following Israeli withdrawal, Times of Israel (July 5, 2023), https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-grapple-with-large-scale-damage-in-jenin-following-israeli-withdrawal/.

[8] Gary Willig, Col. Richard Kemp on Jenin op: ‘Remarkable achievement unprecedented in modern warfare’, Israel National News (July 9, 2023), https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/373909.

UN Watch