In the wake of Israel's largest military operation in the West Bank in two decades, Jenin lies in ruins as drone footage shows the extent of the destruction.
The Shibli family returned to a home damaged and littered with bullet casings. Operation “Home and Garden” was an extensive three-day assault, involving air and ground forces, leaving their mark on the city of Jenin.
Hussein Shibli, the family's 68-year-old patriarch, recounted the soldiers' intrusion, “The soldiers forced everyone into one room while they searched the house. Then they made us go outside, and they used a shoulder-launched rocket to fire into the house.” However, he insisted there were no combatants in his home.
The fighting took a total of 12 Palestinian lives, four of whom were combatants, and one Israeli soldier, as the army targeted a significant militant hub in the impoverished neighborhood.
On day two, violence reached Tel Aviv, with nine injuries resulting from a vehicular and knife attack by a Palestinian. In response, Israel launched airstrikes on alleged Hamas weapons sites in the Gaza Strip.
As calm returned to Jenin on Wednesday, residents began clearing rubble and extinguishing fires, echoing the aftermath of previous encounters, particularly during the second intifada in 2002.
Tensions have escalated this year, resulting in the most violent year since 2005. Both sides are feeling the pressure, particularly from Israel's right-wing factions demanding retaliation for IDF raids and Palestinian terrorist attacks.
But the scars left by “Home and Garden” suggest a bleak future for the city and the West Bank if the violence persists. Amid the ruins and burnt-out cars, residents were caught in a grim cycle of rebuilding, trying to salvage any semblance of normality.
Ala Ghazawi, whose appliance repair business was decimated by the operation, reportedly reflected, “The PA is no help to us. They let this happen and did not defend the camp … They are in the Israelis' pocket.”
Despite the destruction, an IDF spokesperson touted the operation as a success, claiming it reduced future terror threats. However, for those picking up the pieces in Jenin, there's an overwhelming expectation that more violence is on the horizon.
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