Ali al-Sumodi, Aljazeera's correspondent in Palestine, said on Tuesday that Israeli occupation forces had withdrawn from Jewish settlements south of Jenin in the area where Jaba, Aja and al-Fandaqumiya villages are.

In a surprise move, Israel decided to evacuate four settlements in Jenin, including the Tersalat Sanour settlement, the correspondent said.  

 

The Homesh settlement was suddenly evacuated a few days ago, he added.


Residents are rejoicing after years of Israeli occupation of the area.

Witnesses also told Aljazeera that the occupation forces had destroyed everything in the Jewish settlement before withdrawing.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed that troops had dismantled infrastructure in the settlement of Sanour and would no longer be patrolling the area.

No official handover

However, Jenin governor Qadura Musa told Aljazeera that the Palestinian Authority had not been officially informed of the Israeli withdrawal, despite the fact that a handover should have taken place.

Palestinians are overjoyed at
witnessing Israeli withdrawal

Officials from the Palestinian Authority and the resistance movements arrived at Tersalat Sanour to pray in a mosque that was out of bounds for Palestinians due to Israeli military checkpoints and barriers.

Palestinian officials also reassured the crowd of their commitment to the land of Palestine and opposition to the occupation.

 

Some officials stressed the necessity of international intervention to pressurise Israel and to oversee the handover of these areas to the Palestinian Authority, he said.


Official reassurances
 

The governor of Jenin reassured residents that the Palestinian Authority was ready to take control of the area Israeli forces had left.

The
al-Jala wa al-Tahrir mosque was in use before Israel seized the West Bank in 1967, said Majdi Elaouna, an official with the district coordinating office.

Israel has withdrawn its forces from and returned four Jewish settlements in the West Bank to the Palestinians, in addition to all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip.