Fear of more violence after Jenin attack

Israel has announced the completion of a two-day large-scale military offensive in the West Bank. Prime Minister Netanyahu explained, however, that this was "not a one-off operation". After several air strikes, ground troops were sent in to carry out raids in the city of Jenin, which is considered a militant Islamist stronghold. According to the Palestinians at least 13 people were killed. Commentators voice concern.

Open/close all quotes
The Independent (GB) /

Israel making even more enemies

The Independent warns:

“No one can seriously believe [this operation] will succeed in furthering the cause of peace, strengthening the security of Israel, or ending the persistent terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. Indeed, if history is anything to go by - and in this part of the world it tends to dictate a lot - it will merely make matters even worse. ... Instead of helping to rebuild the power of the Palestinian Authority in flashpoints such as Jenin and Nablus, Israel is effectively recruiting for the likes of the Jenin brigades. Soon, Israel won’t even have a Palestinian government with which to negotiate, and much of that will be its own fault.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

A political solution needed

Military operations don't serve the stated goal of fighting terrorism, Israel correspondent Peter Münch concurs in the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Short-term successes end up being paid for with long-term damage: every death and every destruction increases the hatred and sense of hopelessness on the Palestinian side. ... Once Israel has declared victory in Jenin, there will be no peace but more military operations will ensue - even bigger, even harsher, with even more potential for escalation on other fronts from Gaza to Lebanon. Military operations continue to turn the spiral of violence. Only a political solution can end the violence.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

A response to Palestinian attacks

The military operation in Jenin is a consequence of the growing hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, Jutarnji list comments, listing several recent attacks on Israelis:

“In the last few months there has been a sharp increase in the number of incidents on the streets in the West Bank, from throwing stones and Molotov cocktails to attacks with gunfire. Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis since the beginning of the year. One of the most serious incidents took place in late June at a petrol station at the entrance to the Eli settlement and left four Jewish civilians dead. ... And only yesterday, seven people were injured when a driver ran over pedestrians near a shopping centre in Tel Aviv and then got out to stab civilians.”

Kurier (AT) /

Both sides need new leaders

The Israelis and Palestinians are trapped in old patterns of behaviour, Kurier writes:

“The time has come to break the vicious circle and stop the bloodshed. But this requires bold steps and new, courageous political leaders who are not trapped in old patterns. Today's batch? Terrible. On the one side a 73-year-old long-term head of government who first entered the Knesset in 1988; on the other Mahmoud Abbas, an 87-year-old president who consistently avoids new elections. Neither of them stands for renewal or hope. On the contrary, they are squandering the futures of their children and grandchildren.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Mahmoud Abbas's power vacuum

Israel is afraid that Hamas will grow even more influential than it already is, Corriere della Sera writes:

“The Israelis fear that the power vacuum created by the ineffectiveness of President Mahmoud Abbas will give Hamas more leeway, as it did before in Gaza. ... Unlike in the 2000s, Fatah, founded by Yasser Arafat, no longer dominates even in areas like Jenin, and groups are emerging that do not belong to the traditional factions. Negotiations on a peace agreement have been frozen since 2014, some Israeli ruling parties are seeking the de facto annexation of the territories and do not condemn the settlers, who have raised the level of violence with reprisals - referred to as 'pogroms' by Israeli authorities - against the villages from which the attackers came.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Not without risk

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung notes that the offensive is fraught with danger:

“Many an Israeli soldier has lost his life in the maze of alleys of the former refugee camp that has become a city. Here Palestinian terrorist organisations keep a tight rein on their retreats. Israel's security forces can deal blows to these cells, but everyone knows how quickly the structures reemerge if nothing changes in the basic situation. ... So far, Israeli governments have mostly been able to rely on citizens rallying around the army when things get really precarious. But if they get the feeling that young Israelis are being sacrificed to suit the violent logic of an extremist government, things could soon become even more difficult for Netanyahu.”

Der Standard (AT) /

EU criminally passive

By standing idly by the EU is making itself an accomplice of the enemies of peace, criticises Der Standard:

“Europe is making things too easy for itself. On the one hand it lets the cash flow out of solidarity with Israel, on the other it sends humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. If Israel breaks international law and tears down a school in the West Bank that was built with EU money, it is rebuilt with EU money. At the same time, we stand by and watch as Israel's ultra-right religious government effectively annexes part of the West Bank. ... The enemies of peace on both sides benefit from this, while those who are still committed to dialogue are being left in the lurch.”