What Palestinians in Jenin camp did to block the Israeli army

Hours after Israeli forces withdrew from the Jenin refugee camp, one of its main entrances had already been reinforced with obstacles and explosives in anticipation of another Israeli attack.

Large anti-tank metal barriers, improvised explosive canisters and two parked cars blocked the entrance into the camp, which was still reeling from a three-day Israeli air and ground assault that began on July 2.In what has been described as the largest raid on the densely populated camp since 2002, Israel pounded it with explosive drones and missiles fired from unmanned planes while hundreds of soldiers raided the camp, taking cover in people’s homes and spreading destruction for about 48 hours. Twelve Palestinians, including three children, were killed.

About 120 Palestinians were injured with dozens in critical condition. Many homes and roads were destroyed, and at least 3,000 residents were forced to flee their homes.

Palestinian fighters were witnessed firing back at Israeli soldiers. But fighters and camp residents are increasingly relying on new tactics to defend themselves against repeated, deadly Israeli assaults.

These have included new types of homemade explosives planted in roads that damage Israeli armoured vehicles, and what is known as hedgehogs, cross-shaped anti-tank metal barriers made by hand.They also include community-led initiatives such as setting up surveillance cameras in and around the camp and draping canvas above the camp’s tight alleyways to obstruct the view of Israeli snipers, drones and planes.The Palestinian fighters are confronting one of the most advanced armies in the world, making these measures more obstacles than anything else.

Still, they have come to pose a challenge to the Israeli army. The tools used in the Jenin refugee camp, which has emerged as a focal point of Palestinian resistance against the decades-long Israeli military occupation, have become an example for other Palestinian areas, such as Nablus, where similar strategies are being deployed.

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