Israeli Security Force Activity in Jenin, June 19, 2023

IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).

IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).

IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).

IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).

Jenin Battalion terrorist operatives display ruins of armored IDF vehicles damaged in the attack (Jenin al-Qassam Telegram channel, June 20, 2023).

Jenin Battalion terrorist operatives display ruins of armored IDF vehicles damaged in the attack (Jenin al-Qassam Telegram channel, June 20, 2023).

Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa returns to the Jenin refugee camp after release from jail on January 24, 2023 (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).

Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa returns to the Jenin refugee camp after release from jail on January 24, 2023 (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).

Qassam Abu Saraya in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Qassam Abu Saraya in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Qayis Jabarin in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Qayis Jabarin in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Muhammad Daraghmeh in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Muhammad Daraghmeh in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).

Palestinians burn tires along the Gaza Strip border (Right: Shehab Twitter account, June 19, 2023. Left: al-Risalah Twitter account, June 19, 2023).

Palestinians burn tires along the Gaza Strip border (Right: Shehab Twitter account, June 19, 2023. Left: al-Risalah Twitter account, June 19, 2023).

Overview
  • The Israeli security force activity in Jenin became complicated when IEDs were detonated to attack two IDF armored vehicles. For several hours, during which the forces tried to extract the vehicles, there were heavy exchanges of fire with armed Palestinians. For the first time since 2002 the IDF used attack helicopters. Seven soldiers were wounded and several vehicles were damaged and put out of commission.
  • The Jenin Battalion of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Jerusalem Brigades claimed its operatives had attacked the IDF soldiers, beginning with a “sophisticated” IED ambush which caused considerable damage to vehicles. They claimed they had also hit a helicopter. The ambush was even given a name, “The might of free men.” The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (AAMB) reported its operatives had detonated several IEDs and shot at the Israeli forces (Jenin Battalion and AAMB Telegram channels, June 19, 2023). The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, also announced it operatives had detonated IEDs and shot barrages at IDF soldiers in Jenin (al-Aqsa TV, June 19, 2023).
  • Five Palestinians were killed, and a seriously-wounded Palestinian later died in the hospital. The ministry of health in Ramallah reported 91 wounded, 18 of them seriously (Wafa, June 19, 2023). At least four of the fatalities were terrorist operatives; one was a 15 year-old boy.
  • Palestinian sources on the ground were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the event. Hamas called the events “a clear indication” of the progress and development of the Judea and Samaria organization’s fighting techniques, with an emphasis on IEDs. The Jerusalem Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), reported its operatives had come out of the round of fighting “stronger.”
  • It can be assumed that the attack on the IDF vehicles in Jenin will encourage the military-terrorist wings to carry out similar attacks in future IDF force operations in the cities in Judea and Samaria. They may also want revenge for their operatives’ deaths. Calls have already been heard on the ground to escalate the “resistance” in Judea and Samaria and other arenas (al-Aqsa, June 20, 2023). Immediately after the attack in Jenin, a Palestinian carried out a vehicular ramming attack at the Rachel Crossing and there were violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Husan, both west of Bethlehem, during which a PIJ terrorist operative who threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers was shot and killed.
IDF Activity
  • On the morning of June 19, 2023, Israeli security forces operated in the Jenin refugee camp to detain Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity. During the detention of two wanted Palestinians there were massive exchanges of fire between the Israeli forces and armed Palestinians. As the forces exited the refugee camp they were ambushed and armed military vehicles were damaged when IEDs were detonated as they passed. The explosions wounded five soldiers. IDF forces worked for several hours under heavy fire to extract the damaged vehicles, supported by attack helicopters and UAVs (IDF spokesman and the Israeli media, June 19, 2023). It was the first time helicopters were used in Judea and Samaria since 2002.
IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).    IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
IEDs detonated to attack IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Damaged IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).    Damaged IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Damaged IDF vehicles (QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Jenin Battalion terrorist operatives display ruins of armored IDF vehicles damaged in the attack (Jenin al-Qassam Telegram channel, June 20, 2023).
Jenin Battalion terrorist operatives display ruins of armored IDF vehicles damaged in the attack (Jenin al-Qassam Telegram channel, June 20, 2023).
IDF helicopters in the skies above Jenin (Right: Wafa Facebook page, June 19, 2023. Left: QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
IDF helicopters in the skies above Jenin (Right: Wafa Facebook page, June 19, 2023. Left: QudsN Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
  • According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli security forces detained Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa, a Hamas military-terrorist operative (Palestinian prisoners’ club in the Jenin district Facebook page, June 19, 2023). He was detained several times by Israel and most recently released on January 24, 2023 (Safa, January 24, 2023). He is the son of Hamas operative Jamal Abu al-Hijaa, who spent five and a half years in Israeli jails between his return to the Palestinian territories in 1990 and his detention in 2002, at which time he was sentenced to nine terms of life imprisonment for his role in commanding the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing. Two of Issam’s brothers, Abd al-Salam and Imad, are in administrative detention. His brother Hamze was killed in March 2014 in a clash with the Israeli security forces after having been wanted to several years; Shehab, May 4, 2022).
Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa returns to the Jenin refugee camp after release from jail on January 24, 2023 (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).    Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa (Palestinian prisoners' club in the Jenin district Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Right: Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa (Palestinian prisoners’ club in the Jenin district Facebook page, June 19, 2023). Left: Issam Jamal Abu al-Hijaa returns to the Jenin refugee camp after release from jail on January 24, 2023 (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).
Claim of responsibility
  • The PIJ’s Jenin Battalion claimed responsibility for the ambush which seriously damaged the IDF vehicles. They also claimed they had hit a helicopter, and even gave the attack a name, calling it “The might of free men.” The AAMB reported that its operatives had detonated several IEDs and shot at the Israeli forces (AAMB Telegram channel, June 9, 2023). The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades also claimed its operatives had detonated IEDs in Jenin and shot at the soldiers (al-Aqsa TV, June 19, 2023).
Palestinian fatalities
  • Five Palestinians were killed in the operation in Jenin, and a sixth died in the hospital several hours later. The ministry of health in Ramallah reported 91 Palestinians had been injured, 18 of them seriously (Wafa, June 19, 2023). Among the Palestinians killed were four Palestinian terrorist operatives; a 15 year-old boy was also killed.
  • The Palestinian fatalities were the following:
    • Qassam Feisal Abu Saraya: 29 years old from the Jenin refugee camp (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 19, 2023). The PIJ’s Jenin Battalion reported he was one of its operatives (PIJ website and PIJ spokesman Abu Hamze’s Telegram channel, June 19, 2023). He was detained in 2019 and imprisoned in an Israeli jail for a year (Palestinian prisoners’ club in the Jenin district Facebook page, June 19, 2023). His brother, Mustafa Abu Saraya, carried out a shooting attack in Afula in 2001[1] (Awda Telegram channel of Fatah’s media information and cultural commission, June 19, 2023). His Facebook page has many pictures of him with Rani Walid Ahmed Qatanat, a Jenin Battalion operative killed on the night of May 9, 2023, in Qabatiya. Saraya’s body was wrapped for burial in a PIJ flag.
Qassam Abu Saraya (left) with Rani Qatanat (Qassam Abu Saraya's Facebook page, June 13, 2023).    Qassam Abu Saraya in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
Right: Qassam Abu Saraya in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023). Left: Qassam Abu Saraya (left) with Rani Qatanat (Qassam Abu Saraya’s Facebook page, June 13, 2023).
  • Khaled Issam Darwish Asa’asa: 21 years old; according to the social networks the AAMB in Jenin claimed him as an operative (New Press Twitter account and the @rubasnoubar1 Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
Khaled Darwish at the grave of Jamil al-Amoudi, the Jenin Battalion founder (@jeniincamp Twitter account, June 19, 2023).    Khaled Darwish taking aim (Amie Barahama's Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Right: Khaled Darwish taking aim (Amie Barahama’s Facebook page, June 19, 2023). Left: Khaled Darwish at the grave of Jamil al-Amoudi, the Jenin Battalion founder (@jeniincamp Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
  • Qayis Majdi ‘Adel Jabarin: 21 years old, from the Jenin refugee camp (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 19, 2023). He was a Jenin Battalion operative (Telegram channel of Abu Hamze, PIJ spokesman, June 19, 2023). His body was wrapped for burial in a PIJ flag.
Qayis Jabarin in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).    Qayis Jabarin takes aim (Qayis Jabarin's Facebook page, January 16, 2023).
Right: Qayis Jabarin takes aim (Qayis Jabarin’s Facebook page, January 16, 2023). Left: Qayis Jabarin in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
  • Ahmed Khaled Fayiz Daraghmeh: 19 years old from the Tulkarm refugee camp, an operative in the Jerusalem Brigades’ Tubas Battalion (al-Araby al-Jadeed and the Tubas Battalion Telegram channel, June 19, 2023). He was the son of Khaled Fayiz Daraghmeh, a retired officer in the Palestinian security services (@Mah_m03 Twitter account, June 19, 2023). In some reports he was referred to as Ahmed Khaled Fayiz Abu Salah (Bashaar Falih Daraghmeh’s Facebook page and the Palestine Post Twitter account, June 19, 2023). According to the Palestinian general intelligence mechanism apparatus’ notice, the Salah family will receive condolence calls in its living room in Tubas (@Mah_m03 Twitter account, June 19, 2023). The PA ministry of higher education and scientific research issued a mourning notice claiming Daraghmeh was s student in the Tubas branch of the al-Quds Open University (PA ministry of higher education and scientific research Facebook page, June 19, 2023). Yunes al-‘Asi, governor of the Tubas district and the “northern valleys,” issued a mourning notice and spoke at his funeral (Yunes al-‘Asi, governor of the Tubas district’s Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
Muhammad Daraghmeh in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
Muhammad Daraghmeh in uniform (Jenin Battalion alternate Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
  • Ahmed Yusuf Saqr: 15 years old. According to the mourning notice issued by the ministry of education in Ramallah, he was a 9th grade student in the Jenin refugee camp’s UNRWA school (ministry of education in Ramallah Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
The mourning notice issued by the ministry of education in Ramallah (ministry of education in Ramallah Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
The mourning notice issued by the ministry of education in Ramallah
(ministry of education in Ramallah Facebook page, June 19, 2023).
  •  Amjad ‘Aref al-J’as: 48 years old, died after having been wounded during the activity in Jenin. His son, Wasim al- J’as, was killed on January 26, 2023 during an Israeli security force activity in the Jenin refugee camp (Wafa, June 20, 2023).
Amjad 'Aref al-J'as (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).
Amjad ‘Aref al-J’as (Snd News Twitter account, June 20, 2023).
Palestinian Reactions
  • Sources on the ground expressed significant satisfaction with the results of the event. Hamas claimed the event was a clear indication of the progress and development of the fighting methods employed by the organizations in Judea and Samaria, with an emphasis on the use of IEDs. The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, claimed the round of fighting had ended and the military wing had come out of it stronger.
  • Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, claimed the clashes continued the Palestinian “struggle” for freedom and independence. The PA foreign ministry condemned the “occupation’s ongoing aggression” in Jenin and other areas, the “illegal killing and collective punishment.” According to the foreign ministry, they regarded the events as dangerous escalation and Israel’s formal adoption of a cycle of violence as well as an attempt to export the Israeli coalition government’s crises to the Palestinian arena (PA foreign ministry website, June 19, 2023). Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, declared the Palestinians were in the midst of a comprehensive war on all fronts, political, security, and economic, which demanded the people’s unity to cope with the situation (Hussein al-Sheikh’s Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
  • Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, said the “heroic battle” waged by the “resistance” [terrorist operatives] in Jenin and its refugee camp against the “Zionist aggression” was a clear response to Israel’s continual threats against Judea and Samaria. He claimed Israel should think carefully every time it planned to take action. He said he was proud of the unity of the “resistance” fighters from all the organization who had participated in the battle, and said the sacrifices of the Palestinians, the shaheeds and the wounded would not have been in vain (Hamas website, June 19, 2023).
  • Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said the Israeli threat to initiate a broad, comprehensive military campaign in northern Samaria did not frighten the “resistance” heroes or the Palestinians. The threat, he claimed, was the result of Israel’s failure to halt the “resistance’s” spread and escalation. He said the ongoing clashes using IEDs against the Israeli security forces in Jenin were proof of the “resistance’s” strength and unity, enabling it to consistently clash with IDF forces and prevent Israel from operating (Hamas website, June 19, 2023). On a different occasion he said all the cities and refugee camps in the West Bank would remain a reservoir for the “Palestinian revolution” (al-Risalah Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
  • Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Israel’s “aggression” against Jenin once again “proved” the Palestinians would let nothing break them. He claimed Israel was surprised every time it tried to destroy the “resistance.” However, the “resistance” was strong and Israel failed, it was not even close to winning and would lose every battle it entered against them (Hamas Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
  • Ziyad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary general, interviewed by al-Alam TV in Tehran, claimed the “resistance” was about to enter a new stage of great accomplishment. He claimed what had happened in Jenin was related to the “unity of the arenas” engagement [Operation Breaking Dawn] and a continuation of “The free men’s revenge” [Operation Shield and Arrow]. He sent his blessing to the Jenin Battalion fighters, who had done “great, important work” in “The might of free men” [the PIJ name for the events in Jenin], proving their courage and ability to confront [Israel] and create “a new resistance horizon.” He thanked the Jenin Battalion’s engineering unit, which had manufactured the IEDs “out of nowhere, and brought a change to the battlefield which would be important in the future.” He also said the confrontation in the Jenin refugee camp had been important, having stalled seven Israeli military vehicles, one of which was almost completely destroyed. He called it a “great, important achievement” accomplished with the “resistance’s modest means.” The Palestinian “resistance’s” bravery, he claimed, was what had differentiated it from the force of the Israeli enemy (al-Alam TV website, June 20, 2023).
  • Jerusalem Brigades spokesman Abu Hamza said the “heroic operation” of the military wing’s operatives in Jenin reflected Israel’s helplessness in the face of the Palestinians’ staying power. He said [“resistance”] activity in Judea and Samaria would not stop and Israel could expect more such activities as long as it continued its policy of assassinations and attacking the prisoners (Abu Hamza’s Telegram channel, June 18, 2023). PIJ spokesman Tareq Salami said they saluted the Jenin Battalion fighters and all the “resistance” fighters who defended the city. He claimed the confrontation proved the “resistance” was a [the best] plan and could not be replaced. He claimed the events also proved the fighters’ courage and willingness to engage in battle. The Jerusalem Brigades and “resistance” heroes in Jenin had dealt Israel and its leaders a harsh blow and taught them a new lesson in the rules of engagement in the West Bank, all of whose cities were prepared for the “struggle” (PIJ Telegram channel, June 19, 2023).
  • In the eastern Gaza Strip Palestinians burned tires to protest Israel’s activity in Jenin, IDF forces responded by firing teargas canisters (Shehab and Sawa, June 19, 2023).
Palestinians burn tires along the Gaza Strip border (Right: Shehab Twitter account, June 19, 2023. Left: al-Risalah Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
Palestinians burn tires along the Gaza Strip border (Right: Shehab Twitter account, June 19, 2023. Left: al-Risalah Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
  • A rally was held in support of Jenin in Gaza City. Khader Habib, a member of the PIJ leadership, who attended the rally, called the battle in Jenin a continuation of “The free men’s revenge” [Operation Shield and Arrow] in the Gaza Strip, claiming “the revenge” was increasing daily. He said the “resistance” would continue developing its weapons and the level of the fighters’ capabilities would rise in preparation for the final battle (Filastin al-Yawm, June 19, 2023).
Khader Habib at the rally (Filastin al-Yawm, June 19, 2023).     Solidarity rally in Gaza City.
Right: Solidarity rally in Gaza City. Left: Khader Habib at the rally
(Filastin al-Yawm, June 19, 2023).
Right: Cartoon by Alaa' al-Laqta. Tag team, Gaza goes out, Jenin comes in (Palestine Online, June 20, 2023). Left: Cartoon by Muhammad Sabaana. The teeth on the lower half of the trap read "Jenin" (al-Ahrar Movement Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
Right: Cartoon by Alaa’ al-Laqta. Tag team, Gaza goes out, Jenin comes in (Palestine Online, June 20, 2023). Left: Cartoon by Muhammad Sabaana. The teeth on the lower half of the trap read “Jenin” (al-Ahrar Movement Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
"Jenin" (alresala.net Twitter account, June 19, 2023).
“Jenin” (alresala.net Twitter account, June 19, 2023).

[1] On November 27, 2001, Abu Saraya, a Jerusalem Brigades terrorist operative, and Omar Abu Na'asa, an AAMB terrorist operative and policeman in the Palestinian police force, carried out a shooting attack at the Central Bus Station in Afula, killing two Israeli civilians. ↑