‘A Real Massacre’: Israel’s Attack on Palestinians in Jenin


Arwa Ibrahim | Al Jazeera – TRANSCEND Media Service

Israeli forces kill at least nine Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as major military operation continues in the Jenin refugee camp.

Jenin, West Bank Jul 2023 – North Press Agency

3 Jul 2023 – Israel’s bloody incursion against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank continues with growing calls for the protection of civilians and fears the tense situation could explode into another devastating war.

The ground-and-air attack on the Jenin refuge camp on Monday was the largest military operation in the occupied territory since the 2000-2005 Second Intifada – or mass Palestinian uprising against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

The ongoing incursion killed at least eight people including two children. A ninth Palestinian was also shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Ramallah.

Nidal Obeidi, the mayor of Jenin, said the attack was “a real massacre and an attempt to wipe out all aspects of life inside the city and the camp”.

“Those being targeted now are not just the resistance fighters but civilians are being killed and wounded as well,” he told Al Jazeera.

The municipality of Jenin announced water and electricity services had been cut off from the refugee camp because of ongoing combat. The Palestine Red Crescent said at least 3,000 people were evacuated from Jenin.

Deploying hundreds of forces, attacking from the sky with drones, and launching rockets on the densely populated camp of about 20,000 people, the Israeli military also targeted infrastructure by destroying homes and roads.

The hotbed of resistance against the Israeli occupation has repeatedly been a focus. At least seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli incursion in Jenin just two weeks ago.

Interactive_Jenin air raids_July3_2023

Children killed, journalists targeted

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Tel Aviv is not intending to expand its operation to the rest of the occupied West Bank, but armed confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters near the refugee camp continued and the military sent reinforcements.

Palestinian fighters were holed up in a mosque, the Israeli military said, adding the operation would continue until suspects belonging to armed groups were captured, which might require another 24 hours to complete.

The two young victims in Jenin were identified as Nouruddin Husam Yousef Marshoud, 15, and 17-year-old Majdi Younis Saud Ararawi, according to the group Defense for Children International–Palestine. The oldest of Monday’s nine victims was 23-year-old Mohammed Muhannad al-Shami.

Several journalists said they were directly targeted by Israeli live fire while reporting on the events in Jenin.

Al Araby TV channel correspondent Ahmed Shehadeh said the army destroyed his camera with gunfire while he and four other journalists were stuck inside one of the homes in the camp for two hours before being evacuated by the Red Crescent.

It was not the first time media members have become victims in Jenin.

Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was killed by Israeli soldiers while reporting on a military raid on the camp last year. The Palestinian-American correspondent was shot in the head while wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS”.

Smoke rises from densely populated Jenin refugee camp
Smoke rises during the Israeli raid on Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Monday
[Majdi Mohammed/AP]

‘Crush Jenin’

Israel’s attacks on Jenin are part of an effort to crush resistance there with young Palestinians increasingly taking up arms. According to analysts, Israel’s hard-right government is likely to continue its heavy-handed approach towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel wants to do whatever it can to crush Jenin and any other form of resistance,” said Palestinian lawyer and analyst Diana Buttu.

“They [Israel] have made clear that there are three options available for Palestinians. Option one is to leave, option two is to remain as residents but not as citizens of any state, and option three is if you resist we are going to crush you. This is what they are implementing.”

Hassan Ayyoub, a Palestinian political science professor at An-Najah National University in Nablus, agreed.

“The endgame is to make Palestinians give up any hope of achieving self-determination or being recognised as a people,” Ayyoub said.

The trajectory of the situation since the 2008 assault on the Gaza Strip has been one of continuous escalation by Israel against the Palestinians, he added. Israel intends to crush what he referred to as the “Jenin phenomenon”, or any form of Palestinian resistance.

“Jenin has a long history of resistance. It is a model for the masses that Israel wants to eliminate. But for Palestinians, the question is a matter of principle and their endgame is to end this occupation,” explained Ayyoub.

The Israeli aggression also raised fears of an escalation with armed groups in the Gaza Strip as Gaza-based political factions called on Palestinians to rally around those targeted in Jenin.

The Guardian

Strong condemnation

Many in the international community strongly condemned the Israeli raid and demanded an immediate halt.

Turkey’s foreign ministry voiced its deep concern over the attack, warning the tensions could “trigger a new spiral of violence”. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation called the Israeli incursion a “heinous crime”.

Qatar stressed the need for the international community to move urgently to protect the Palestinian people against “flagrant” Israeli violations.

Jordan condemned the escalation as a “violation of international humanitarian law”, while Egypt warned of serious repercussions and called on international actors to intervene.

IDF attack on Jenin, West Bank Jul 2023 – Axios

United Nations Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland described the situation as “very dangerous” and called for the protection of civilians.

The White House, meanwhile, said the United States “supports Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups”, also highlighting the need to protect non-combatants.

The Jenin refugee camp has been the target of intensifying and recurring attacks by Israeli forces over the past two years.

Along with Nablus, it has witnessed the emergence of a new generation of Palestinian fighters resisting Israel’s decades-long military occupation.

The emergence of the new fighting groups came on the heels of a popular outburst of Palestinian resistance in May 2021, which began in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and led to Israel’s 11-day assault on Gaza.



Arwa Ibrahim is a journalist focusing on the Middle East and North Africa.



Go to Original – aljazeera.com

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