A large-scale Israeli
military incursion into the West Bank
from March 29-April 21, 2002. Named Operation Defensive Shield by the Israeli military, it was the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 War
and included invasions of the cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqilia, Bethlehem and Jenin, and included the Battle of Jenin. The incursion was launched after a series of bombings inside Israel
perpetrated by Palestinian
militants, and was immediately preceded by a suicide bombing that killed 30 people at a Passover seder in a hotel in the city of Netanya. According to the United Nations, 497 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, and 30 Israeli soldiers. 7,000 Palestinians were detained, and wide-scale destruction of property and infrastructure occurred. According to multiple human rights organizations, the Israeli army employed several tactics during the incursion that are illegal under international humanitarian law, and that constituted war crimes. See " Operation Defensive Shield: Soldiers' Testimonies"
, B'tselem, September 2, 2004; and "Israel and the Occupied Territories: Shielded from Scrutiny: IDF Violations in Jenin and Nablus
," Amnesty International, November 4, 2002.