Operation Beit VeGan! (IDF in Jenin)

Operation Beit VeGan! (IDF in Jenin)
The IDF’s military operation in the Jenin earlier this week
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In the early hours of Sunday morning, this week, the IDF began its largest military operation in the West Bank for 20 years. The target of the operation was the West Bank city of Jenin. More specifically, Israeli forces were looking to enter the Jenin refugee camp in the city.

This densely populated, impoverished camp, with its higgledy piggedly buildings and narrow streets has been a hotbed of terror and an icon of the Palestinian resistance for decades. In fact, it has been dubbed by some as the terror capital of the West Bank!

The IDF in Jenin this week
(Photocredit: IDF spokesperson unit)

Netanyahu, justifying the reason for this operation, said, “In recent months, Jenin has become a haven for terrorism — we are putting an end to it,” Netanyahu said, noting that Israeli forces killed several gunmen, arrested others, and found and destroyed a host of weapon and bomb-making facilities — some of them “on an industrial scale.” Netanyahu pointed out that the forces are operating in a densely populated area and “they are doing it with minimal harm to civilians.” The premier claimed that the operation would change “the equation against terrorism” and compared it to the recent operation against Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the 2021 Guardian of the Walls operation against Gaza-based fighters. [1] The operation seized bombs, guns and hundreds of shekels in terror funds.

Why Jenin?

Before you ask, Operation Beit veGan is not an attack against vegans but instead, the phrase means “house and garden”. This is likely a reference to 2 Kings 9:27, where the phrase Beit Hagan is used to describe somewhere located in the same area as Jenin [2]. In fact, in Josh 19:7, the same place is referred to as En-gannim, meaning fountain of the gardens. It is likely, that the word Jenin, originally came from the hebrew word for “gardens”, “gannim”.

View of the plain of Esdrealon from Jenin
“picturesque Palestine”, Wiki Commons
A long time ago!

This is just one example of the biblical heritage that shines through even Palestinian naming conventions in the West Bank. It is biblically impossible to deny the Jewish cultural and historical connections to the mountains of Israel. In fact, the heritage of Jenin, goes even further back – the place is mentioned in the Armana letters, from the 14th century BCE, when Pharaoh was ranting about the pesky Canaanities he wanted to squash. [3] As stated above, the IDF entered the refugee camp in Jenin. The refugee camps in the West Bank date to 1948, when Arab populations were displaced from their homes in war. Today however, they are used as political pawns by the Palestinian Authority.

CAMERA, (Committee for accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis) says the following about the camps: “Palestinians still live in refugee camps, even when the camps are in Palestinian Authority controlled areas, because the PLO opposes and prevents refugee resettlement. As the PLO slogan goes, A Palestinian refugee never moves out of his camp except to return home (ie, to Israel).While the PLO has done its best to keep Palestinians in refugee camps, Israel has done its best to move Palestinians out of the camps and into new homes. Israel even started a heavily subsidized “build-your-own-home” program for Palestinian refugees.” [4]

These squalid camps breed young people who grow up with a sense of hopelessness and are indoctrinated with a violent hatred of Israel. In this way, the cycle of violence and terror is perpetuated throughout generations. In short, they are preyed upon by their leaders and become prime candidates to commit terrible acts of terror against innocent Jewish civilians. The last year has been more deadly for Israelis than any since 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, creating an urgent need for the authorities to take action in the war against terror. Jenin, a place where terrorist hid, stockpiled weapons and built explosives is the logical place for such action.

How has the world responded?

The actions taken by Israel this week have been badly received by media outlets across the world.  Once again, the anti-Israel bias of the media is scarily plain to see. Look no further than the BBC for examples of of this: The BBC interviewed Naftali Bennet but rather than asking any questions, they laid a series of statements about Israel’s willingness to kill children in the conflict – Assuming Israel’s position as the unjustified and cruel aggressor. Other headlines include:

Israel’s Jenin operation reignites Palestinian anger”. This is a misleading view of the situation since Israel is acting to protect its own citizens following a huge wave of terror.

Families return to rubble in Jenin refugee camp” While this is true on the surface, it fails to note that the rubble was only caused because the refugee camp was booby trapped to the hilt, and the only way to safely enter was via bulldozers, a common practice in armies across the world. Similarly, it was likely even more protected, since the Israelis notified the PA and civilians before entering, giving Terrorists further opportunities to shore up their defences. Similarly, the UN secretary-general claimed that Israel ‘obviously’ used excessive force in its counter-terrorism operation. He said it was the worst violence in the area in years. These types of comments are only to be expected from one of the most anti-Israel organisations in the West. [5] JNS reported that the Mayor of Jenin had ‘cordial’ phone call with a german diplomat. The article says that both parties have “made their disdain for Israel known”. Antisemitism is a deeply ingrained part of European culture. It did not begin with the Holocaust and it did end there either. The EU have been working hard behind the scenes for decades to frustrate the Jewish settlers in the West bank.

Finally, a cartoon was published this week in the UK left-wing newspaper, the Independant. shows a Palestinian man collapsed on the ground after having seemingly written “Ukraine” with his bloodied finger over a sign reading “Jenin” as Israeli fighter jets fly over the ruins around him.

Cartoon by David Brown,
Published in the Indpendent UK newpaper, 5th July 2023

This appears to draw a false equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and the Ukrainians. In this way, Israel’s operation is likened to the aggression of Russia. Once again, this demonstrates the curious alliance between the left-wing and Islamists in the Middle East. While pushing gay rights and an LGBTQ agenda in the West, they equally keenly, make deals with Iran and support the Palestinians in their fight against the only democracy in the middle east. This strange double standard could be seen as a pre-cursor to the way that the spirit of humanism will bring the nations to attack Israel. (Revelation 16)

What is the Biblical Significance?

We read in Ezekiel 38:11-12 that the Northern invader will come upon the land of Israel with the element of surprise. The mountains of Israel will be dotted with “unwalled villages” and the nation will be “at rest”, “dwelling safely”. The events of this week demonstrate yet again that we are a far cry from this picture at the moment. However, taking more decisive action in the West Bank, a symptom of the right-wing government could help to bring about a situation of peace. And more than just this, the fact that Ezekiel pictures no walls and Israel multiplying on the mountains implies that there will likely be no two-state solution during the time of the end. Perhaps operations like this will be the beginning of a full crack-down on terror that will create a safer West Bank in the long term – we will have to wait and see!

Finally, the true colours of nations and people are often shown in times of conflict. Once again, the international outcry of the world against God’s people shows a growing spirit of antisemitism that we would expect to see at the time of the end. Media outlets, world leaders and vast global organisations have once again swallowed the Palestinian narrative and continued to peddle it leaving little or no comments about the right of Israel to defend itself. While we don’t make any political defence for the actions of the state of Israel, the clear bias and narrative shown by the media is part of the humanistic frog-like spirits that we read about in the book of Revelation. It does not take much imagination, to see the picture described by the prophets, or all nations gathered against Jerusalem for battle. Revelation 17 describes a European beast system called Babylon the Great, making war with Christ at his return. One of the elements of a Babylonish power, is the persecution of God’s people. It should come as no surprise to see the EU constantly taking anti-Israel positions and actively aiding the Palestinian cause in the West Bank. This can only intensify as time goes on.

The Battle for the mind

The battle for the mind is raging. The world seeks to squeeze us into it’s humanistic mould of thinking. This attack comes from all sides. It may come from a radical LGBTQ agenda pushed in the workplace, or perhaps from the mainstream media, relentlessly reporting false narratives against God’s people. Brother John Carter, in his book on Ephesians wrote that “the mind is insensible to the stream of thought running through it”. The things that we choose to watch and listen to make a difference to our thinking.  We read in the book of Isaiah that “as the heavens are higher than earth” so are God’s ways higher than our ways. We must seek to see the world from God’s perspective, both in a moral sense, but also in the signs of the times.

This has been Daniel Blackburn joining you for this week’s edition of Bible in the News.


[1] https://www.timesofisrael.com/more-large-raids-planned-for-jenin-army-says-as-israel-vows-to-press-offensive/

[2] https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-749173,

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki Jenin#:~:text=Jenin%20is%20commonly%20identified%20with,the%20many%20springs%20located%20nearby.

[4] https://www.camera.org/article/why-palestinians-still-live-in-refugee-camps/

[5] https://www.jns.org/israel-palestinianconflict/united-nations/23/7/7/300903/




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