A military spokesperson said on Wednesday that despite military objectives in the counterterrorism offensive in Jenin were achieved, the IDF payed a heavy price with the death of one of its soldiers.
"David was part of the elite Egoz unit. As troops were withdrawing from Jenin after the completion of the operation against terror cells and infrastructure there, he was critically hurt by gunfire. We are investigating the incident, this is a very complex combat zone." Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told Ynet in an interview. "The Egoz unit operated in the heart of the refugee camp, engaged with terrorists, initiated battles, located explosive charges, entered a mosque, and found tunnels with explosives underneath it," he said.
The military spokesperson said the IDF launched its offensive on Monday, to end the Jenin refugee camp's role as a safe haven for terrorists, to target terror infrastructures, with an emphasis on the laboratories where explosives were produced, to be placed beneath roads used by the IDF, to disable the surveillance cameras that were spread throughout the camp and used to control movements in and out of the area in a manner that hindered IDF operations in the area.
"All these things were addressed," Hagari said. "The joint operation with the Shin Bet, alongside excellent intelligence, allowed us to thwart the threats. There was significant and precise action from the air as well. Twelve terrorists were taken down, and uninvolved Palestinian civilians were not killed. Unfortunately, there are a considerable number of injuries because the terrorists hid among the civilian population."
Hagari noted that over 300 suspects were arrested, and they are being investigated by the Shin Bet. "We were actively searching for 30 of them. We demolished and destroyed hundreds of explosive charges, weapons, and ammunition and confiscated cash meant to fund terror. In the end, we must remember - there is no magic solution to terrorism. We'll have to continue operating and return to the refugee camp when we receive intelligence about activists or wanted individuals planning acts of terror" Hagari said.
On Tuesday, a gunfight broke out between forces and armed terrorists including from inside a city hospital, "The IDF does not operate inside hospitals, the spokesperson said. "I think that this operation was in accordance with international standards and legitimacy, in a very noteworthy way. We estimate that many terrorists sought refuge in the hospital, but we will reach them."
Regarding the failure to apprehend the terrorists who carried out the shooting attack near the West Bank settlement Hermesh over a month, despite naming it as one of the objectives of the operation, Hagari said that in the fight against terrorism, there are two rules. "If you have early intelligence, you take a risk and eliminate the threat. Unfortunately, we did not have early intelligence, but we will reach those who carried out this horrific attack, and they will be held accountable."
The forces on the ground followed a well-planned operation crafted with the help of intelligence and supervised and coordinated by the Shin Bet. "The cooperation between the IDF and the Shin Bet brings very good results for Israel, " the spokesperson said adding operatives for the security service were present alongside the forces during the offensive.
"There are about 13 kilometers of road in the Jenin refugee camp and with the help of precise intelligence, the IDF corp of engineers was able to remove explosive charges placed underneath them," Hagari said. "Unfortunately, this caused damage to the electricity and water supply. The responsibility for this lies with the Palestinians and the international community. When explosives are placed under the asphalt to target IDF vehicles, it is also very dangerous for other Palestinian civilians traveling on the road."