Israeli military uses Apaches in Jenin, as far-right minister calls for more air attacks on West Bank cities

Israeli Apache helicopter fires on Jenin West Bank
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On Monday 19 June, Israeli forces deployed Apache helicopter gunships and carried out airstrikes on the West Bank city of Jenin.

The Israeli military’s assault on Jenin included snipers and at least 120 armoured vehicles, as well as the air attacks. The Palestinian Red Crescent said that Israeli forces directly attacked ambulances.

Journalists reporting on the raid also came under fire. Israeli forces shot journalist Hazem Nasser while he was doing his job. Medics rushed him to hospital.

In total, Palestinian media is reporting that six people died and 100 were injured in the Israeli attack.

Those killed by Israeli forces include a 15-year-old boy named Ahmed Yousef Saqr.

Palestinian resistance fighters confronted the attacking Israeli forces with considerable force. They reportedly injured eight Israeli soldiers and targeted military vehicles with explosives.

Palestinian journalist Rania Zabaneh tweeted:

Read on...

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The aerial attack was the first of its kind in 20 years in the West Bank.

Jenin has been suffering increased attacks from Israeli forces since March 2022. However, this is the biggest assault since since 26 January 2023, when Israeli troops killed 10 Palestinians in a deadly raid on Jenin’s refugee camp.

Palestinian group Stop the Wall called for a military embargo in response to the attack on Jenin. It tweeted:

Far-right minister threatens more colonial violence

Later, on 19 June Bezalel Smotrich – the far-right Israeli finance minister – called for the continued use of airpower and armoured vehicles in the West Bank.

Smotrich said:

the time has come to utilise air forces and armoured forces.

He has also previously denied the existence of Palestinians as a people. His threat of increased military force goes alongside Israeli government plans to rapidly increase the rate of colonisation in the West Bank. Smotrich has further pledged to double the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank in a matter of years.

On top of this, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu just gave Smotrich’s colonial ambitions the green light by handing him sole control of the approval of new settlements. The Israeli state is already planning 4,000 new settlement housing units.

Calls for a military embargo

Many on Israel’s left have responded with dismay. Anti-occupation veterans’ organisation Breaking the Silence tweeted:

Palestinian group Stop the Wall‘s call for a military embargo was echoed by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS Movement pointed out the complicity of European company Airbus in arming Israel:

You can read more about the Palestinian campaign of BDS against Israeli militarism here. Alternatively, click here to find out about the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement, which is calling for international volunteers to join it in Palestine to support the popular grassroots resistance to the occupation.

Featured image via screenshot

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