Israel kills four in Jenin raid

Palestinians confront Israeli occupation forces following a deadly raid in Jenin on 28 September (Nasser Ishtayeh - SOPA Images)

Maureen Clare Murphy

The Electronic Intifada  /  September 28, 2022

Israeli forces killed four Palestinian fighters in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday.

Israeli occupation forces raided the city at around 8:45 am, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Israeli special forces surrounded a home in Jenin refugee camp, opening fire and launching projectiles towards it, according to the rights group. People in the camp confronted the raiding soldiers outside the home and across the camp.

Occupation forces reportedly sought to arrest Abdelrahman Khazem and Muhammad Alawneh.

Israeli police claim that the pair had carried out shooting attacks in recent months, including one targeting construction equipment being used by the military near Israel’s wall in the West Bank earlier in the month.

Abdelrahman Khazem is the brother of Raed Fathi Khazem, who was killed in a firefight with Israeli forces hours after shooting and fatally injuring three Israelis in Tel Aviv’s bustling Dizengoff Street in April.

The Israeli military published video captured by a surveillance drone showing an explosion that took place at the surrounded home on Wednesday, claiming that the wanted men had set off explosives:

Video circulated by Palestinian news agencies shows a plume of smoke rising from Jenin after an explosion at the site of the besieged home:

Citing the military, the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported that in addition to shooting at two people inside the home, “soldiers fired an anti-tank missile towards the house, causing a fire.”

The newspaper later removed this from its report without explanation.

Israel’s use of a missile against the house suggests the Israeli attack may have been an application of the so-called “pressure cooker procedure,” a form of extrajudicial execution.

As part of this procedure, occupation forces fire progressively more powerful weapons at the house in an effort to force those inside to surrender. If they refuse to do so, the occupation forces demolish the house, killing all those inside.

The bodies of Abdelrahman Khazem and Muhammad Alawneh were recovered from the home after Israeli forces evacuated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that the pair were “directly wounded in the upper part of the body.”

Two other Palestinians were shot and killed during the confrontations that took place during the raid in Jenin – an area of the West Bank under nominal Palestinian Authority control.

Ahmad Nazmi Alawneh, 25, reportedly a Palestinian Authority security officer, was injured by a bullet to the head, according to the rights group. Mahmoud Abu Nasah, also 25, was “injured in the upper part of his body,” PCHR added.

Video shows the moment that Ahmad Alawneh was shot in the head while he appears to be aiming a gun.

Abu Nasah was reportedly a member of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian resistance faction, and the three other slain men belonged to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed group associated with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

Fatah called for a “day of rage” in the West Bank following the deadly Jenin raid, including a general strike and a march on Israeli military checkpoints in the territory.

More than 40 others were injured during the raid, several of them seriously, according to the Palestinian Authority health ministry.

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said that one of its health centers was damaged during the violence in Jenin on Wednesday.

Video shows children at a kindergarten crying in terror as gunfire is heard from close by, with their teachers attempting to reassure them by saying that the shots were from a wedding.

Another video shows teachers and students in a panic at a school during the Israeli raid:

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that the Israeli forces aimed to kill the men in the besieged home in what amounts to a crime of “summary execution.”

Headcam footage published by Israeli police shows an officer opening fire at one of the wanted men after he apparently jumped from the besieged building. The video shows that police fired multiple shots towards the man and made no attempt to arrest him.

Israel had pursued Raed Khazem’s father and other family members in the months following the Tel Aviv shooting.

In April, members of the family survived a botched execution attempt after Israeli forces ambushed a car containing Khazem’s mother and two of his brothers, one of them a child.

A Palestinian resistance fighter belonging to Islamic Jihad was killed while defending Raed Khazem’s home during an Israeli raid in April.

The home was destroyed earlier this month.

During the demolition operation, Israeli forces shot and killed Muhammad Sabaaneh while he was livestreaming the raid to an audience of 15,000 via the social media app TikTok.

A second Palestinian man was fatally injured during the same demolition raid.

Hamad Mustafa Abu Jalda, 24, died days later after being injured during an alleged gunfight with Israeli occupation forces during the raid. Abu Jalda was reportedly a field commander with the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

On Wednesday, Fathi Khazem, the father of Raed and Abdelrahman, said that “they demolished my house, but they only demolished stones. They have not demolished our resolve or our will.”

Standing by the shrouded body of his son Abdelrahman, Fathi Hazem honored his son’s martyrdom for a just cause.

Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and settlers so far this year. It is the deadliest year in the territory since 2015, when around the same number of Palestinians were fatally injured.

Around a third of those killed this year were in the Jenin area, which has been subjected to nightly raids after a wave of attacks in Israel beginning in late March.

Among them was Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin during May.

An Israeli sharpshooter intentionally shot and killed Abu Akleh, who was a US citizen, according to a new investigation by the UK-based research group Forensic Architecture and the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq.

Jenin, along with Nablus, another major city in the north of the occupied West Bank under nominal Palestinian Authority control, have re-emerged as centers of armed resistance to the Israeli military occupation.

In recent months Israel and the Palestinian Authority have stepped up their attacks in these areas amid concerns among Israeli leaders that they are slipping out of the occupation’s control.

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada