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Jenin

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Jenin, or Ǧanīn (Arabic: جنين) is a city in the West Bank, which - in accord with the Oslo Accords - is divided between Israeli and Palestinian control.

Jenin is a predominantly Palestinian city with a refugee camp in the northern part of the West Bank (Samaria). It overlooks both the Jordan Valley to the east, and the Jezreel Valley to the north. Jenin is the site of the ancient Israelite village of En Gannim (See also: Anem), and it is still not a large town. It has a population of a few tens of thousands. In particular, one of the city's quarters is a officially a United Nations refugee camp housing mostly the descendants of Arab refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It has long been a center of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jenin was the center of civil unrest during the Great Uprising of Palestinians in the years 1936-1939; in particular, it was the base of the pioneer of Arab guerilla, Sheikh Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam (the Hamas military wing is named after him). It was also used by Qawquji's partisans guerillas.

In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the city was occupied by Iraqi forces, then captured briefly by forces of Israeli Karmeli Brigade during the "10 Days' fighting" following the cancellation of the first cease-fire. The offensive was actually a feint designed to draw Arab forces away from the critical Siege of Jerusalem and gains in that sector were quickly abandoned when Arab reinforcements arrived.

For 19 years, the city was under Jordanian control; it was then captured by the Peled division of the IDF on the first day of the Six-Day War of 1967.

The city was returned by Israel to the control of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. It is believed that radical Islamist elements quickly returned to the city. For a while they were silenced by the Palestinian Authority, but they were never openly acted against. At the start of the Second Intifada, the city allegedly became a central source for the dispatching of suicide bombers to the North and Center of Israel. According to Israeli sources, a quarter of all suicide bombings carried out in Israel during the current, second Intifada originated in Jenin. See Palestinian terrorism for an in-depth discussion of this broader issue.

In April 2002, Jenin's refugee camp was the theatre of one of the most intense battles to occur during the al-Aqsa Intifada. The details of what happened during these events are hotly contested. The events were intially refered to as the Jenin massacre, due to an allegation raised by Palestinians that the IDF killed hundreds of civilians in the camp. This allegation was later refuted, and the death toll was lowered to 52 people, at least 30 of whom were militants. Serious allegations of war crimes have also been levelled agains the IDF. Others deny these charges, and angrily deny that war crimes were committed. On contrast, the death of 23 Israeli soldiers during the battle, raised criticism in Israel on the soft method the IDF used in order not to harm civilians, on the expense of its own troops safety.

For more details, see: Battle of Jenin.ar:جنين de:Dschenin eo:Jenin he:ג'נין it:Jenin nl:Jenin ru:Джанин

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