Israel kills four Palestinians in Jenin as ‘Break the Wave’ onslaught continues

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli troops following four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during a military raid in Jenin on September 28 (APA Images)

Mariam Barghouti 

Mondoweiss  /   September 29, 2022

Palestinian cities across the West Bank are shut down as protests erupt in response to an Israeli raid in Jenin that killed four Palestinians and injured over 50.

For the second consecutive day, Palestinian cities in the West Bank are shut down in a general strike as protests erupt across Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin, and Hebron in response to an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp that killed four Palestinians and injured over 50.

On Wednesday, September 28, Israeli forces raided the refugee camp, 98 km northeast of Ramallah and killed Abdel Fathi Khazem, Mohamed Mahmoud Alona, Ahmed Nazmi Alawneh, and Mohamed Abu Na’sa. In addition, more than 50 others were injured with live ammunition with several reported to be in critical condition.

This comes just days after a military ambush in Nablus on September 25 which resulted in the killing of 23-year-old Palestinian resistance fighter, Sa’ad al-Koni

In recent weeks, following the August military escalation in Gaza, Israeli military forces and intelligence as well as Palestinian Authority security forces and intelligence have been cracking down brutally on Palestinian armed resistance as part of the ongoing Israeli military operation against Palestinians dubbed “Break the Wave.”

Premeditated extra-judicial assassinations

At approximately a quarter past midnight on Wednesday, the Israeli military announced it was preparing to launch a military operation in Jenin under the pretext of targeting “terrorists”- a term commonly used in the official Israeli army lexicon when addressing Palestinian resistance.

Several hours later, Israeli forces invaded Jenin from the Jalameh checkpoint with army vehicles and weapons, launching a large-scale assault on the city. 

Shortly after the invasion, smoke was seen rising from a Palestinian home which belongs to family members of Raed Hazem. Hazem, 28, carried out an armed attack in Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on April 7th of this year which resulted in the death of three Israelis. Hazem was later killed by Israeli forces in Yaffa. His family’s home was punitively destroyed by Israeli forces on September 6, a practice borrowed from colonial British Mandate era and deemed illegal under international law.

According to Israeli news service “0404,” Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles towards the Hazem house, which was located in a densely populated residential area in Jenin refugee camp. Raed Hazem’s brother, Abed Fathi, was killed in the attack. Another Palestinian, Mohammad al-Wanneh was also killed, and images spread on local social media show his mutilated body.

In addition to military jeeps and armored vehicles, the army was also using a bulldozer to pave its way into the city. Dozens of Palestinians, combatants and non-combatants were injured, with Israeli military using military force indiscriminately, according to eyewitnesses from the camp.

“The situation in the camp is incredibly difficult,” Alaa Badarneh, a Palestinian journalist who was in the camp at the time of the invasion told Mondoweiss. “One fighter was injured with a bullet to the head, and it appears that there are [Israeli] snipers at every point,” he said.

According Israeli media, the assault on Jenin was to arrest two wanted Palestinians, however the execution of Abed Fathi showcases a different intention and reality.  Within approximately an hour of invading and targeting the house of Hazem’s family, the Israeli military confirmed that it had “neutralized” Abed Fathi Hazem. 

Neutralized, a term borrowed from military lexicon, is used by Israeli authorities and media to water down the crime of extra-judicial killing of Palestinians, by way of dehumanization.

Israeli authorities commonly undertake punitive measures against families and friends of Palestinian resistance operates.

Resistance fighters face an army invasion

In recent months the Israeli army has been undertaking raids and armed invasions of Palestinian towns and cities with almost daily regularity. In response, Palestinian armed resistance have been actively engaging in confronting these raids.

As the Israeli army invaded Jenin on Wednesday, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling faction, Fatah, announced that its fighters had “targeted occupation forces surrounding the home of ‘Raed Khazem’ with explosive devices and bullets,” and injured members of the invading Israeli force.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed at 10:15 AM local time that during the assault on Jenin, one Palestinian was killed with a bullet to the head while nine others were injured, with two of them in critical conditions (bullet wounds to the chest). 

The man killed, Ahmad Alawnah, was seen on CCTV cameras as a sniper shot him with a direct bullet to the head as he fired at the Israeli military along with five other fighters. 

Palestinian resistance fighters next to Alawneh were seen wearing sweatpants, a backpack, and t-shirts while resisting Israel’s advanced and heavily armed army power. 

Alawneh, was also an officer in the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, further showcasing the disconnect of PA officials from the developing reality in the Palestinian political struggle for liberation. 

Mohammad Abu Naasa was also killed, making him the fourth martyr by noon. Since the start of the year, more than 159 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. Of those, 104 have been in the West Bank and Jerusalem with 41 Palestinians killed from Jenin, and 17 from Nablus.

Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss.