On his first visit to the refugee camp in beat it in almost 20 years, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) conveyed a message of control of the situation, launched an appeal for the unity of his people and, above all, expressed his support a week after the largest Israeli operation against armed groups in the north of west bank in two decades.
The 48-hour Israeli military incursion into the Jenin refugee camp, which killed 12 militiamen and wounded a hundred and killed one soldier, was condemned by all Palestinian factions, including the most important: Al Fatah of Abu Mazen, the Islamist group Hamaswhich controls the Strip of Gazaand the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihadwith enormous power in this small West Bank enclave.
“Jenin is the icon of struggle, perseverance and defiance. She stood firm in the face of aggression and occupation and made many sacrifices for the good of the homeland,” said the president of the Palestinian National Authority (ANP), who after placing a floral offering before the graves of nine dead militiamen, praised their “patriotic role”.
“All the Palestinian people are with the residents of Jenin and their camp until we achieve victory,” added Abu Mazen, who arrived from Ramallah’s Mukata by Jordanian helicopter and under a large deployment of PNA security personnel.
The veteran leader promised help to the refugee camp after the operation (including drones) that caused extensive and severe material damage. Although he was not there for long, he was able to see the consequences of the passage of the Army in streets with the asphalt completely raised in an action that Israel justified to detect and defuse explosives planted by the Palestinians.
MOMENT OF GREAT TENSION
His visit coincides -and it is not accidental- with a moment of great tension. The northern West Bank is steadily approaching chaos and instability after nine years of paralysis in the peace process and 16 months marked by attacks, incursions and armed clashes, the rise of militiamen and the loss of control, popularity and legitimacy of the The ANP also does not maintain direct contact with the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which for its part has increased the approval of houses in the colonies in its first semester in power.
With his presence in Jenin, where his internal rivals rule, Abu Mazen expresses that, despite the situation, his weak health and his age (87), he is still the the president Palestinian. And that he does not renounce a field dominated by militiamen of different kinds grouped under the so-called Defeat the Brigade, whose name was chanted at times during Abu Mazen’s visit. Of course, he did not have to flee as several senior officials did last week who met with the wrath of many Palestinians at a funeral. “Get out, get out!” they shouted, accusing the PNA of not helping them and of collaborating with Israel.
For months, the Israeli authorities have been demanding that the PNA regain control of Jenin and NablusPalestinian armed strongholds, and warn that “otherwise we have no choice but to act to abort terrorist attacks against our citizens and soldiers”.