Four youth killed in the last 24 hours amidst ongoing Israeli wave of extra-judicial assassinations

Mourners carry body of Mahdi Ladadweh in the village of Al-Mazraa al-Gharbia, near Ramallah (Wajed Nobani - APA Iimages)

Mariam Barghouti

Mondoweiss  /  October 9, 2022

Israel has revived its decades-old policy of “liquidation” in an attempt to quell the rising tide of armed Palestinian resistance, adopting extra-judicial assassination.

Three Palestinian minors and one 19-year-old were killed in the governorates of Ramallah, Qalqilya, and Jenin within the span of 24 hours. For the past nine months, Palestinians have experienced the deadliest year in their confrontation of Israeli colonialism since 2015. The death toll has reached 164 since the start of 2022.

On October 7, Israeli military forces shot and killed 16-year-old Adel Ibrahim Daoud in the city of Qalqilya, north of Ramallah. Hours later, the military invaded Al-Gharbiyya 11 km northwest of Ramallah, killing 17-year-old Mahdi Ladadweh. 

The next day, on October 8, at approximately 1:00 p.m., as Palestinians finished burying Ladadweh in Mazra’a al-Gharbiyya, another two Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp. 

In a coordinated military invasion, Jenin refugee camp was assaulted under the pretext of arresting a wanted Palestinian resistance fighter, Mohammad Abu Zeina. The invasion resulted in the killing of Mohammad al-Sous (18), and Ahmad Daraghmeh (16). Eleven others were injured, including 3 in critical condition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Israel’s “liquidation” policy is an acceleration of the colonial project

According to eyewitnesses, at approximately 9:00 a.m. on October 7, Israeli military forces invaded the city of Jenin, making a direct line towards Jenin refugee camp. In coordination with the Israeli intelligence (the Shin Bet), the army fired live ammunition and stationed snipers on top of residential buildings.

According to eyewitnesses and journalists on the ground, the Israeli army had also employed the use of Apache helicopters during the invasion, reminiscent of the Israeli army’s invasion of the camp two decades earlier during the 2002 – 2004 invasion, Operation Defensive Shield.

Ever since last February, Israel has implemented an ongoing military operation in the West Bank cracking down on Palestinian armed resistance. 

But last night’s raid marked a new development. 

Israel has in recent years gradually rejuvenated its decades-old policy of extra-judicial assassinations of “matlubeen”, or wanted Palestinians, and is now using it with a regularity that resembles the policy of “liquidation” during early 2000 and 1993.

When Israel had employed this practice after the Intifada of 1987- 1993, a Human Rights Watch investigation concluded that Israel operated with “a license to kill” policy, which led to a string of assassinations of Palestinian activists.

In almost four decades, not only has this practice remained an important component in Israel’s repressive arsenal, but it does so with utter impunity, despite condemnation from human rights organizations. The media has not been spared this liquidation campaign, as with the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and in the recent invasion of Jenin refugee camp, four local journalists, Mohammad Abed, Mujahed al-Saadi, Jaafar Shtayyeh, and Nidal Shtayyeh were surrounded and shot at directly.

In July of this year, the Israeli military chief of staff, Eyal Zamir, suggested ramping up extra-judicial assassinations beyond Palestinian territory.

The assassinations of Palestinian resistance fighters, therefore, may be a precursor to many more assassinations to come, perhaps even extending internationally. 

Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss