Israel sanctions Jenin area following deadly terror attacks, gun battles

Israeli military vehicles drive in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, on April 9, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)
Israeli military vehicles drive in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, on April 9, 2022. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

Israeli authorities impose restrictions on Jenin after two Palestinians from the area committed deadly terror attacks in Israel, and repeated firefights between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers rock the West Bank city.

The Jalameh and Rihan checkpoints in the Jenin area will be closed for Arab Israelis to enter and exit, says Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, which is widely known by its acronym COGAT.

The crossings are a key economic artery for the city. Arab Israelis regularly enter to shop in Jenin, and the Ramadan holy month is a crucial time for businesses to get in the black.

Israeli authorities have issued looser restrictions on West Bank Palestinian movement during Ramadan that allowed women, children, and some men to enter Jerusalem for Friday prayers, even without a permit.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned that the looser Ramadan restrictions are dependent on stability.

But following a situational assessment, Gantz said the army “will continue and intensify” operations, “alongside the continuation of civil policy as agreed.”

Palestinian businessmen holding elite permits issued by the Israeli army will also be banned, although ordinary day laborers will be permitted through the crossing as usual, COGAT says.

Jenin’s Palestinian residents will also be banned from visiting first-degree relatives in Israel. Authorities permit some Palestinians to conduct family visits during Ramadan as a gesture to Palestinians during the holy month.

Israeli forces have repeatedly clashed with Palestinian gunmen in Jenin and the surrounding villages over the past few months. Although the Palestinian Authority conducted a “law and order” operation late last year, Ramallah appears increasingly unable to control the region.

Two Palestinian shooters in the recent terror wave hailed from the Jenin area. Large crowds of supporters arrived in front of their houses after their identities became known, including officials in the ruling Fatah movement.

The Israeli government has sought to balance deterring terrorism with avoiding sparking a broader escalation with the Palestinians.

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