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Israel: politicians and military establishment at odds on crackdown against Palestinians

May 10, 2022 at 11:59 am

Israeli soldiers stage a raid on the city, where Palestinian who carried out the armed attack in Tel Aviv lives, in Jenin, West Bank on April 09, 2022. [Israeli Army – Anadolu Agency]

Marathon meetings between Israeli politicians and officials in the military establishment have failed to resolve the differences of opinion over the ways to crack down on the Palestinians, Israeli media have revealed.

The Times of Israel cited Hebrew-language media on Monday as saying that Israel is considering a military operation in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. The latter would focus on the city of Jenin.

According to the newspaper, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants a military operation in the Gaza Strip. Defence Minister Benny Gantz, however, wants a wide-scale arrest and detention operation in and around Jenin. Gantz is the former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). IDF and Shin Bet security officers apparently share Gantz’s opinion, and are against Bennett’s plan to attack Gaza, Channel 13 news has reported.

The discussions have been held following a number of Palestinian resistance attacks against the Israeli occupation. Over the past fifty days, 19 Israelis have been killed in such attacks across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel’s security forces, meanwhile, have killed 50 Palestinians in what amount to field executions since the start of this year.

A military operation in Jenin is likely to focus on the detention of a large number of Palestinians from the city and its neighbouring villages. Other towns and cities across the West Bank will also be affected by the Israeli show of force.

However, the potential operation in Gaza would target Hamas officials, especially the movement’s leader in the Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar, who is said to be inciting the Palestinians to carry out resistance attacks.

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