September 26, 2023

In the past year, the city of Jenin in the West Bank has become a particularly sharp thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation. On July 4th and 5th, Israeli forces swept into Jenin Refugee Camp in an attempt to suppress a rising armed resistance emanating from the area. Despite slaughtering 12 Palestinians, Israel accomplished little of military value in the operation, failing to flush out resistance forces or even take and hold the refugee camp. For all its brutal repression, the truth is that Israel today is far weaker than it has been in the past. Externally, international opinion, and particularly Jewish opinion, is turning against occupation and apartheid. And internally, Israel is riven by the judicial crisis and protest movement that has developed in opposition to Netanyahu’s government.

Welcome to The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner here on the Marc Steiner Show at The Real News. It’s good to have you all with us. We’ve all been aware the Israeli attack on Jenin that killed at least 12 Palestinians, five of them children, thousands displaced from their homes, over 100 homes destroyed. This in the wake of demonstrations in Israel, decry in the end of democracy in Israel itself, but demonstrations that hardly mentioned or included Palestinians.

All this in the face of the most right-wing, religious, fundamentalist government in Israel’s history. The threat to wipe out Palestinian towns and people have come from the highest positions in the Israeli government. Before the assault in Jenin, Israel human rights group, B’Tselem, called it a regime of Jewish supremacy in all the areas under their control.

Two weeks before the invasion, Israel’s National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “We have to settle the land of Israel and at the same time, need to launch a military campaign. Blow up buildings, assassinate terrorists. Not one or two, but dozens, hundreds, or if needed, thousands.” All this coming on the heels of the devastation with Jenin for the second time in 20 years.

We are joined today by Meron Rapoport of 972 Local Call, who is a longtime Israeli journalist, former head of the News Department of Haaertz and political activist. Yumna Patel, who is also a political activist living in Bethlehem. The Palestine news director of Mondoweiss, who has been a freelance journalist for a long time based in Bethlehem and written articles for numerous organizations. Meron and Yumna, welcome. Good to have you both with us.

The latest attack in Jenin is the culmination of over a year’s long military effort by the Israeli security apparatus, to quash growing Palestinian armed resistance groups in the occupied West Bank, primarily in the Nablus and Jenin areas. In Jenin, the huge focus has been on the Jenin Refugee Camp. Over the past year and a half, since the beginning of 2022, we’ve seen several large-scale Israeli army raids on the Jenin Refugee Camp, many of which have been very deadly.

Most raids over the past year or so, have a minimum of around five people killed in a single raid. What we saw last week, was the culmination of the Israeli army’s efforts to quash Palestinian resistance. As you mentioned, it ended up with at least 12 Palestinians being killed, several of them children. It was the largest raid that we saw on Jenin, and one of the largest military operations in general in the West Bank since the Second Intifada.

The bigger picture is that right now currently, and particularly in the past year, we’ve been seeing this moment in the Palestinian streets where Palestinians, particularly Palestinian youth and the young men, are feeling increasingly frustrated and disillusioned. Not only with their own governments, but also with the Israeli occupation that every day is further entrenching an apartheid reality on the ground, but is also as we know, getting increasingly right wing.

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