The Biden administration is in touch with Israeli officials over the IDF’s military campaign in Jenin, the White House said Wednesday, while urging its ally to protect civilians and restore utilities in that West Bank city.
“We are monitoring things very closely,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
“Israel is a close ally and partner, and we are in touch with the national security and, certainly, the defense officials,” she said. “We support, certainly, Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups,” Jean-Pierre said.
She underscored, however, that “It is imperative” for Israel to “take all possible steps to protect civilians from harm, and measures need to be taken to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground and restore critical services like electricity and water to the civilian population.”
US politicians speak out on Jenin operation
A number of United States politicians have spoken out strongly in support of Israel’s two-day campaign to destroy terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank Palestinian city of Jenin this week, which the IDF has called Operation Home and Garden.
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) tweeted, “These attacks from Hamas terrorists in Jenin are for one purpose: to harm and kill innocent Israelis. The @IDF is countering these terror activities daily to stop attacks.
“The acts of these vicious Hamas killers show how important American support of Israel is in the fight against terror, and reiterate the critical need for advanced weapons systems like Israel’s Iron Dome,” he wrote.
Representative Josh Gottheimer (D–NJ) tweeted that Iran is behind the Palestinian terrorist groups in Jenin. “The Iranian threat is not miles away from Israel’s borders, in fact, it is right at the Jewish state’s doorstep [and] embedded into aspects of Palestinian society.
“Tehran [and] its proxies disrupt stability across the world, and the latest discoveries in the West Bank are frightening. “Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, helped stockpile explosive devices, rocket parts, rifles, and ammunition in Jenin. The regime’s goal is to wipe Israel and Israelis off the map,” he explained.
“I am closely following the situation in the region and stand with Israel as it defends itself from terrorists.”
US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) condemned the IDF raid on Jenin, stating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “openly promising to crush Palestinian hopes for statehood, days after the Jenin massacre.
“How long will we continue to fund Netanyahu’s human rights abuses with zero strings attached? How long will we allow him to make peace impossible with no consequences?” she asked.
Some 12 Palestinians were killed during the raid, five of whom were minors. The army has said they were all militants, while the Palestinians argued that some of them were innocent bystanders. According to the UN, some 3,500 Palestinians were temporarily displaced as a result of the violence.
The United Nations is scheduled to hold closed-door consultations on Friday about the Jenin raid.
Reuters contributed to this report