Today we lost 13 reservist soldiers and our grief and sympathy go put to the families.
We have been fighting in Jenin now for one week. 23 terror attacks have originated out of Jenin, some of them suicide attacks. We counted on the Palestinian Authority to take care of the terror and have now found out that not only did they fail to do that, but that they are in fact responsible for it.
Therefore, we sent in IDF reservists and regular soldiers. The degree of resistance was beyond our expectation — the most bitter fighting we have encountered so far. Nearly, 1000 explosive charges were activated against IDF troops, hundreds of hand grenades and light weaponry such as rifles and machine guns. We have found hundreds of explosive charges and most sophisticated explosives , light weapons, machine guns etc. We have faced hundreds of gunmen and terrorists are now facing several dozens in the area of battle. Soldiers were ordered specifically not to target civilians. We have offered them the chance of surrender.
The Palestinians chose to fight in this civilian arena. It has been very difficult for us because this restricts the methods open to us. We have sent in infantry, armoured corps, engineers, field intelligence units etc, and we are full of admiration for their persistence and courage. Please note that they were under strict orders to hold fire to prevent civilian losses.
There were two groups of soldiers in the incident: one on either side of a building. Two forces of reservists and regular soldiers advanced. One group walked into an area of explosive devices. When soldiers entered narrow alley, the Palestinians activated the devices and a suicide bomber exploded himself. (Body parts of the suicide bomber were found on the wall). Simultaneously, another platoon walked into a courtyard and was ambushed by gunmen. Snipers later shot the wounded one by one. There were 20 gunmen and terrorists in the ambush.
They dragged three bodies through a neighboring house which collapsed from the force of the blast moments later.. Palestinians refused offers to remove bodies or to treat the wounded. They were acting on orders from the terrorists inside the camp, who wanted to create the impression of a massacre. Gunmen shot at ambulances.
The difficult fighting proves clearly there was no massacre.