Jenin operation ends in success – excepting the death of Sgt Yitzhak and 8 injured in Tel Aviv

The IDF’s two-day House and Garden operation wound down in Jenin early Wednesday July 5, scoring major breakthroughs in cutting down a major Palestinian terrorist bastion – at least for now. This success was clouded by the death of Staff Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzhak, 23, of the Egoz special unit, in a final Palestinian assault just as the special IDF forces were pulling out of the Jenin refugee camp. Mourned by his parents, six siblings and the Bethel community, he was laid to rest at the military graveyard on Mt Herzl on Wednesday afternoon.

The Egoz unit performed outstandingly in the operation, taking on gangs of armed terrorists, locating hidden explosive devices and digging out tunnels packed with explosives that were buried under the local mosque.

IDF chiefs were satisfied that House and Garden had achieved all its objectives, degrading the Jenin refugee camp’s role as a safe asylum for terrorists, and smashing industrial-scale manufacturing facilities for roadside bombs that were buried under the tarmac. The troops also disabled the network of hidden cameras confounding Israeli counter-terror raids.

The IDF estimates that at least 18 armed Palestinian terrorists were killed in battle during the two-day operation and several hundred detained, of whom 30 remain in custody under interrogation by the Shin Bet security service. Fourteen addresses were targeted as hideouts for wanted terrorists and operations command centers,  as well as half a dozen bomb workshops and more than 500 products ready for distribution.

In all, the operation hobbled the Palestinian plan to transform Jenin into second Gaza Strip and terrorist hotbed, including home-manufactured rockets for attacking neighboring Israeli locations across the Green Line. Two primitive rockets were recently fired and missed their aim. Security and military chiefs are convinced at the same time that it won’t be long before the forces who quit the Jenin camp are obliged to return. Arrest raids are also bound to continue. The combination of the Shin Bet’s 8200 unit and special and elite IDF forces has proved to be a winning format for the continuing battle against Palestinian terror. The eight injured victims of a Palestinian car-ramming stabbing attack in Tel Aviv were a reminder that the counter-terror campaign still has a way to go.

That was on Tuesday night. Early Wednesday, as the Jenin operation wound down, five rockets were fired from Gaza at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. All five were downed by Iron Dome batteries. However, falling fragments damaged two homes in the town.

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