JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A senior member of the Yamam, the elite police reconnaissance force which entered Jenin Thursday morning, has revealed more details of the counterterrorism operation.
“We eliminated a ticking time-bomb in the form of Islamic Jihad terrorists who were planning a series of attacks in Greater Israel,” the officer said.
Although security forces attempted to penetrate the camp without being detected, terrorists were still expecting them and set up a warning system as well as 30 separate barricades to block their entry. As soon as the IDF and special forces officers were spotted, gunfire broke out, first targeting a jeep carrying a senior IDF commander.
Booby-trapped barricades used by Palestinian terrorists, removed from Jenin refugee camp
Meanwhile, special forces officers entered the camp disguised as Arabs, concealed in a truck carrying milk. They congregated in the vicinity of the home of one of the wanted terrorists, surrounding the building. A firefight broke out during the course of which at least three of the Islamic Jihad terrorists planning terror attacks were killed by Israeli fire.
The commander wrote that “the soldiers went into the heart of the refugee camp and in a face to face battle with terrorists demonstrated dedication, courage and unusual determination, fighting a fierce barrage of explosives and shooting from all directions. The entry into the camp proved the mettle of the terrorist cell and the importance of the task.”
Other terrorists rushed to the aid of the terrorist surrounded in the house and fired anti-tank weapons and other weapons at the IDF forces, who responded to the sources of fire. In all, eight terrorists were killed according to Palestinian reports as well as a 60-year-old woman caught in crossfire. With regard to the civilian allegedly caught in the crossfire, an IDF spokesman said that, “We are familiar with the claim that a Palestinian civilian was wounded. The circumstances of the incident are under investigation.”
In addition, two wanted terrorists were identified as they attempted to flee from the scene. Security forces fired at them and they were neutralized, according to sources. “One of the wanted men who had barricaded himself inside the building later gave himself up to security forces at the scene. IDF engineers then entered the building in order to set off a controlled explosion of two bombs that the wanted men had been planning to use. A fourth wanted man was located within the building and he too was neutralized.”
IDF sources added that, “A number of armed men were identified and hit. We are examining allegations that additional people were killed due to the exchange of fire. No injuries were identified among security forces.”
Responding to the morning’s events, the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that the IDF operation was a “premeditated crime and slaughter,” and called on the international community to intervene. According to the Al Jazeera network, Islamic Jihad issued a warning to the Israeli government that if the incursions into Jenin do not cease, “all options are open.”