A recent two-day Israeli military operation on 3 - 4 July in Jenin killed twelve Palestinians and one Israeli soldier, and injured 143 people. Amidst sites of destruction, at least 500 families found themselves internally displaced. Also, on July 4, one Palestinian carried out an attack in Tel Aviv, leaving eight people wounded. He was shot dead by an armed civilian. Attacks on Palestinian people and their properties by Israeli settlers have become a daily horrifying safety threat. A continuation of record violent incidents since the start of 2022 has not seen any decrease. On the contrary, 2023 already sees higher numbers of casualties among Israelis and Palestinians compared to last year.
We call upon the European Union and additional influential actors to engage for immediate deescalation and step up efforts to stop the violence and work towards peace in Palestine and Israel. Until a bold committment from key international decision makers is in place and root causes are actively addressed, this rising cycle of violence will continue. Attacks on civilians are reprehensible, whether they are perpetrated by Israeli security forces, settlers living in the West Bank or Palestinians. Violence only feeds a vicious cycle that hampers hopes of a peaceful future.
The operation in the Jenin refugee camp was the largest in more than 20 years, with the deployment of over 1000 soldiers as well as the use of airstrikes. The camp is home to around 13.000 people. It is a densely populated area, where the risks of harm to civilians are high. In the two days of the military operation, an estimated number of 3.500 people were forcefully evacuated from their homes.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the World Health Organisation reported difficulties to provide first aid during the operation, as ambulances could not enter the camp because streets were damaged by bulldozers. In the attack, major infrastructure was damaged, and authorities are still working to resume the water supply. According to the Palestinian Authority, 429 houses and facilities were destroyed. Reconstruction is estimated to take at least 3 months and will cost millions of dollars. Poverty and unemployment levels are already high in the Jenin refugee camp and the city. The destruction caused by the military operation will only increase the vulnerability of the population living there.