Jenin battle changes rules of IDF counter-terror campaign

The fierce clash Monday morning, June 19, focusing on the Palestinian town of Jenin, was notable for the expanding role of Palestinian roadside bombs against the Israeli military and the rare deployment of helicopters to rescue trapped troops under fire. Both marked a significant step toward unalloyed war.

Early Monday, a mixed force of police border guards and an elite paratroop unit entered Burkin near Jenin in northern Samaria and the Palestinian city’s refugee camp and detained Hamas and Islamic Jihad members suspected of orchestrating the recent upsurge of bomb attacks in the region. On the way out, the convoy came under a hail of explosive devices coupled with powerful roadside bombs. Seven troops were injured, none seriously; a Panther blew up and five more vehicles were disabled in an apparent ambush.
The IDF force arriving to rescue the trapped units came under heavy Palestinian fire, including ground-to-air rockets. To deflect the attack, an IDF Apache helicopter was lofted and sprayed open ground near the rescue site with rockets. The Palestinians reported 3 dead and 45 injured in the event which raged for several hours.

The recent upsurge of Palestinian terrorist attacks and use of increasingly lethal weaponry and tactics present Israel with a dilemma over the need to employ more IDF resources for a major confrontation scenario to curb the escalating Palestinian violence.

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