The Israeli Defense Forces recently led a major two-day counter-terrorism operation. Jenin has long been a hotbed of hate and an epicenter of terrorism. The Israeli military found hidden weapons factories and massive amounts of weapons and ammunition. Twelve Palestinians – all suspected terrorists – and one Israeli soldier died.
Palestinians refer to Jenin as “the martyrs’ capital.” Terrorist groups have sent dozens of suicide bombers and other attackers from the city to murder Israelis. Now, Iran is helping Jenin-based terrorists produce missiles to kill more Israelis. Important background information like this is often omitted by international news organizations, creating narratives that mislead audiences.
Three competing terrorist factions vie for regional control and influence over Jenin’s 40,000 residents. The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is gradually losing control to Iranian-backed groups: Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, also active in Syria and Gaza. Both groups incite local youth and fill the PA’s void with funds, military training and propaganda. These terrorist organizations compete for power and boast about their number of attacks against Israelis. Dozens of terrorist attacks in recent years were launched from Jenin.
The PIJ chief recently met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Palestinian terrorist leader stated that Khamenei “reaffirmed his desire to advance arming the West Bank” and declared Iranian “security-military assistance as the most important thing.” Abbas’s Fatah party described Hamas as a mercenary group serving the agenda of Iran.
Former Israeli prime minister and current opposition leader Yair Lapid supported the operation, calling it a “justified action against terrorist infrastructures and the attempts to build missile production systems in Jenin with Iranian assistance.” Just a week before the IDF’s operation, terrorists launched two rockets from the Jenin area toward Israeli towns.
The IDF continued its customary preemptive warnings to Palestinian civilians, texting residents before the Jenin operation: “The security forces are working in your area against the armed men. Stay home! Keep your family safe.” Palestinians also reported that terrorists received text messages urging them to lay down their arms and turn themselves in.
Palestinian terrorists are known to abuse civilian and sacred locations for their perverse use, including mosques, hospitals and schools. In Jenin, terrorists used a local mosque as a hideout and secret weapons cache – more evidence of the desecration to Muslim holy sites. An IDF spokesman called out the “cynical exploitation of innocent civilians by Palestinian terrorist groups. Places of worship should never be used as a front for terrorist activity.”
Many media organizations exhibited bias in their reporting, ranging from simple mistakes to outright falsehoods and misinformation. A BBC anchor asked former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett if “Israeli forces are happy to kill children?” The BBC issued an apology. Media monitors HonestReporting and CAMERA identified many instances of media inaccuracies and bias.
The NY Times ran a headline labeling terrorism an “armed struggle,” the AP referred to a terrorist as a “political activist” and The Washington Post termed the counter-terror op an “invasion.” During the same time as the Jenin fighting, a terrorist deliberately rammed his car into pedestrians at a Tel Aviv bus stop. CNN described the terrorist as a “car driver.” Malicious lies were spread on social media, including that the IDF struck a Jenin theater and a mosque.
Three teens identified as ‘children’ by the UN – and the subject of the BBC question – are seen in photos brandishing assault rifles and wearing military style vests. The three child soldiers were affiliated with three different terrorist organizations. Recently, young children visited a Hamas weapons expo in Gaza. A girl interviewed on TV stated that “I am very happy to be near the weapons that will annihilate Israel.”