The IDF's international spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, spoke to Israel National News about the ongoing counter-terrorism operation in Jenin.
"Jenin has become a hornet's nest of terrorism over the past few years, and there were some treacherous events last week," he says. "We were waiting for the right timing - intelligence-wise, weather-wise - to launch an extensive operation aimed at dismantling the terrorist infrastructure. Jenin is infested with weapons, command centers, IEDs, munitions, you name it."
"We used a surprise tactic - they expected us to come by land, but we attacked from the air. I can't go into our strategy beyond that. We’ll have to see how the day ends, but I think it was a successful start.”
“All our best forces are in Jenin. We started with a command center right in the camp, and with our elite forces, we’re slowly going from one target to another within the camp. We’re trying to break the mindset of the camp as a safe haven for terrorists. We’ll go on as long as we need to.”
“Our enemies go after every Jew or Israeli they can. We go after targets only, and while there are mistakes, we only go after armed gunmen who want to kill Jews. They know how to press those points, but we keep to our Jewish values, to our code of conduct, even though it can be detrimental [to us].”
“We press the international media to do better journalism - to present the IDF perspective in a certain scenario. We have to be fast in reporting, but we also have to be credible. We have learned recently to ‘go ugly, go early’ - when something bad happens, and we know it was us, we say outright ‘Yes, something happened, we had to go in, it was a battle zone, and some people who were uninvolved got killed. People were firing at our soldiers, and mistakes happen. We don’t have to justify ourselves, but we have to say the truth.”