Palestine's Abbas visits Jenin, vows to rebuild after deadly Israeli raid

Palestinian President Abbas laid a wreath on the graves of Palestinians who lost their lives in recent Israeli raids. (Photo/Reuters)

Palestine's President Mahmud Abbas has vowed to rebuild the Jenin refugee camp during a rare visit that came a week after a deadly Israeli raid left much of it destroyed.

Abbas described the camp as an "icon of steadfastness and struggle" during his first visit on Wednesday in over a decade to the camp in the northern West Bank city.

"We have come to say that we are one authority, one state, one law," he said, warning against anyone who "tampers with the unity and security of our people".

Abbas expressed determination to back Jenin's reconstruction and security.

He further vowed to oversee the reconstruction of the camp and the city to restore it "to what it was or even better".

As he concluded his visit, Abbas laid a wreath on the graves of Palestinians who lost their lives in recent Israeli raids.

Ahead of Abbas's arrival, hundreds of soldiers from the presidential guard were seen patrolling the streets of the camp, adding that snipers had also taken positions on rooftops.

Several top officials of Abbas's Fatah party, including deputy chairman Mahmoud Aloul, had visited the camp soon after the raid, only to be heckled by crowds of angry residents.

Deteriorating security

The Jenin camp was established in 1953 to house some of those among the 760,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in 1948 when Israel was created, an event Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "catastrophe".

Over time, the camp's original tents have been replaced by concrete, and it now resembles something closer to a neighbourhood.

The camp, which houses some 18,000 people, was also a hotbed of activity during the second "intifada" or uprising of the early 2000s.

Over the past 18 months, the security situation in the camp has deteriorated, with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority having little real presence there.

Abbas, 87, last visited the occupied Jenin in 2012 but had not toured the camp at the time.

Abbas had previously visited the camp itself in 2004 while running for the Palestinian presidential election after the death of leader Yasser Arafat.


Source: TRT