New York, NY, July 5, 2023 – After Israel’s antiterror operation in Jenin, Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress; Dr. Munr Kazmir, Vice President; Daniel Rosen, Vice Chair; Dr. Ben Chouake, Secretary; and Michael Melnicke, Treasurer, issued the following statement:
“Israel has conducted a swift antiterrorism operation against a terror command center in the city of Jenin that threatened the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike. This Palestinian terror command center – the Jenin Brigade – used schools, mosques, and hundreds of Palestinian families nearby as human shields to hide deadly weapons.
The initial achievements cannot be underestimated. The IDF has saved a Palestinian school and two United Nations offices from a terror command building where explosives were hidden. Israeli soldiers have also liberated Jenin Camp’s Al-Nasr Mosque from Palestinian terrorists who filled its basement pits with weapons and abused its halls to plan murder.
In less than three days, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Shin Bet and Security Forces – under the command of the commando formation and the Menashe Brigade – struck the nerve center of terrorism in Jenin, eliminating 11 terrorists, all combatants. Palestinian terror groups’ plan for civilian devastation was foiled. The fact that teenagers are among the killed terror combatants is further proof of Palestinian terror groups’ record of child-soldier recruitment.
In short: Israel’s security forces conducted this operation with needlepoint precision, hitting a command structure that produced 56 shooting attacks against Israeli civilians since the start of 2022. The speed of the operation shocked terror groups that likely hoped for a prolonged quagmire.
Facing “terrorists operating from a civilian setting” was no small feat considering the target: a command post “used as an advanced observation and reconnaissance center, a place where armed terrorists would gather before and after terrorist activities, a site for armament of weapons and explosives, and as a hub for coordination and communication among the terrorists.” (IDF’s description of the infrastructure)(See recovered weapons here and here).
We also note the growing links between Jenin- and Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups and Iran, reaching their zenith recently with Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders visiting Tehran. Palestinian terror commanders have publicly acknowledged receiving funding from Iran to conduct terrorism against Israel.
The American Jewish Congress aligns with the U.S. Government statement supporting “Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups.”
The Israeli operation provides an opening for Palestinian Preventive Security and other Palestinian Authority (P.A.) forces to take on terror elements dispersed by Israel’s action. The operation helps the P.A. regain control over an area where Palestinian terror groups have been trying to end it.
Israel’s swift operation that neutralized threats to both Israeli and Palestinian civilians should be acknowledged. The fight against terror groups that act as proxies for the regime in Tehran should not be confused with political matters. Blurring those lines only helps terrorists and their backers, and harms both Israelis and Palestinians.”