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Thursday 15 August, 2002
The Battle of Jenin
Unearthing the truth at Jenin
Unearthing the truth at Jenin

The Palestinian town of Jenin was the scene of the most intense fighting of Israel's military offensive in the West Bank during April 2002.

During the battle the outside world was kept out and Jenin became the subject of many myths, rumours and allegations. There were claims of massacres and cover-ups.

When journalists were allowed back into the area, BBC Middle East correspondent James Reynolds talked to people from both sides to discover what happened.

The Battle of Jenin
(part one, 24 minutes)
Eyewitness accounts of the events at the Jenin refugee camp from 5 April 2002 onwards, described heavy fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants.

According to Israeli officials, the camp was a main source of terrorism. Ariel Sharon described it as “a hornets’ nest”.

The Battle of Jenin
(part two: 24 minutes)
Fierce fighting within the camp continued as hundreds of refugees were reportedly rounded-up and detained by the Israeli army.

Officials claimed the area to be “unsafe” and refused outsiders entry. Meanwhile displaced residents from the densely populated camp said they feared a “massacre” was taking place.

After eight days of fighting the Israeli army took control of the camp and allowed the outside world in to see the piles of rubble and to count the dead.

Reports claim that 23 Israeli soldiers were killed and between 51 and 53 Palestinians died during the fighting at Jenin.

The Battle of Jenin was first broadcast in May 2002 on BBC World Service.


Behind the conflict

Archives Index
See also:
01 | Aug | 02
UN says no massacre in Jenin
08 | May | 02
UN condemns Israel over Jenin
29 | April | 02
Expert weighs up Jenin 'massacre'
12 | April | 02
The Battle for Jenin
06 | April | 02
Battle rages in Palestinian camp
Internet links:
Palestinian National Authority
Israeli Foreign Ministry
United Nations
UN report on Jenin
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