Israel kills three Palestinians in Jenin, general strike called

Sidqi Zakarneh, Tariq Damej and Atta Shalab (The Palestinian Information Center)

Zena al-Tahhan

Al-Jazeera  /  December 8, 2022

Ramallah, occupied West Bank The Israeli army has killed three Palestinian men during a raid in Jenin, the latest people to die in a months-long Israeli campaign of near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian ministry of health identified the three killed on Thursday morning as Siqdi Zakarneh, 29, Atta Shalabi, 46, and Tareq al-Damaj, 29.

The ministry announced their death at approximately 5:30am (02:30 GMT).

Zakarneh and Al-Damaj were from the Jenin refugee camp, while Shalabi was from the town of Qabatya on the southern outskirts of Jenin.

At least two other Palestinian men were injured by Israeli fire during the raid, including one in serious condition, local journalists told Al-Jazeera.

A general strike across Jenin governorate has been announced to mourn the three men, with schools, businesses and stores shut.

The Israeli army, including special forces, raided Jenin and its refugee camp at dawn on Thursday and arrested several wanted Palestinian resistance fighters, during which clashes broke out between Israeli forces and armed Palestinian men.

According to local journalist Mujahed al-Saadi, one of the men killed – Sidqi Zakarneh – was a fighter, while Shalabi and Al-Damaj were civilians.

Al-Saadi, as well as local media, said Zakarneh was affiliated with Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade – the armed wing of the Fatah political party but it remains unclear whether Zakarneh was engaged in fighting when he was shot.

“Eyewitnesses said Zakarneh was shot in his car. The people who took him out of the car said they did not find any weapons on him,” Al-Jazeera producer Ali al-Samoudi, who is based in Jenin, said.

The second man who was killed, Atta Shalabi, was driving by with his brother on their way to work when they found Zakarneh killed in his car.

“Atta attempted to help Zakarneh but as soon as he approached, the Israeli army shot him,” said Al-Samoudi, based on information received from Shalabi’s brother, Mohammad.

Shalabi was a labourer working in Israel, according to his brother. He had a work permit and was on his way to the Jalameh checkpoint in Jenin when he was killed.

The context surrounding the killing of the third man, Al-Damaj, remains unclear.

After the incident, the Israeli military said that its forces had been conducting “counterterrorism” activity near Jenin when its soldiers were “targeted with direct fire and responded with live fire” during one arrest raid.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) presidency, said in a statement that the “Israeli occupation government is trying to ignite the region by continuing its crimes against the Palestinian people”, adding that the frequent killings of Palestinians are creating “an explosive situation”.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement that two men were arrested during the raid – Bajes Kayed and Khaled Misbah Abu al-Hayja – both former prisoners in Israeli jails.

Local media reported that Israeli forces also shot at Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances during the raid. Videos shared online showed the aftermath of their targeting, with several bullet holes showing on the windshield and inside the ambulance.

Four Palestinians killed in less than 24 hours

The killing of the three men comes less than 24 hours after the Israeli army killed a Palestinian man from the town of Silwad on the outskirts of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

The man was identified as 32-year-old Mujahed al-Najjar. Residents told Al-Jazeera al-Najjar was killed in a firefight with the Israeli army in the nearby village of Deir Dibwan following a manhunt.

Israeli authorities said they believe that Al-Najjar was behind several shootings in recent days at the Ofra military base, which was built on Silwad lands and stands at its entrance.

On Thursday morning, the Israeli army raided Silwad and arrested Al-Najjar’s father and brother.

Tensions in the occupied West Bank and Israel have been on the boil since last year.

Israeli army raids and killings of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank have increased and happen on a near-daily basis, in parallel with a rise in Palestinian armed attacks, as well as an increase in settler attacks against Palestinians.

The raids have been particularly focused on the northern occupied West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance is growing.

More than 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, have been killed by Israel in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip in 2022 – the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

More than 25 people have been killed in Israel.

Zena al-Tahhan is Al-Jazeera English’s digital correspondent in Jerusalem

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 Israel: Soldiers shoot dead three Palestinians in Jenin dawn raid

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  December 8, 2022

Atta Shalabi, Sidqi Zakarneh and Tariq Damej killed at point blank range during incursion into occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Israeli forces killed three Palestinians during an early morning raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, the Palestinian health ministry said. 

The three killed were identified as Atta Shalabi, 46, Sidqi Zakarneh, 29, and Tariq Damej, 29.

Israel’s military said that its troops had entered the occupied West Bank city to detain people “suspected of involvement in terrorist activity”. 

“The soldiers operated while being targeted with direct fire and responded with live fire,” the army said in a statement.

Witnesses said a large Israeli force raided the city and nearby refugee camp, provoking confrontations with local Palestinian residents. The three men were shot dead at point blank range.

The Palestinian health ministry said three people were killed “by bullets from the Israeli occupation during its aggression in Jenin at dawn today”.

Israeli forces fired at an ambulance attempting to reach the men, according to Palestinian media.

Israeli live fire also wounded 10 other Palestinians, who were taken to hospital for treatment, WAFA news agency reported.

A funeral procession was held on Thursday, with scores of residents marching and carrying the bodies of the three men through the streets of Jenin. 

Nightly Israeli raids

The Israeli army said it carried out multiple operations across the occupied West Bank overnight on Thursday, including in Bethlehem and Ramallah, to arrest “wanted suspects”. 

Israeli authorities have in recent months been conducting raid-and-arrest operations across the West Bank on a near-nightly basis, often leading to the wounding or killing of Palestinians. 

Thursday’s deaths come amid a spike in Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank this year and a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance.   

The latest killings bring the death toll in the occupied Palestinian territories this year to at least 216 Palestinians, of whom 164 were killed in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, making it the deadliest year on record for Palestinians since 2005.

Israel’s “shoot-to-kill policy” has been widely criticized as the number of Palestinian deaths at the hands of its forces increases.

A further 49 Palestinians were killed during an Israeli bombardment of Gaza in August.

Meanwhile, 29 Israelis, including soldiers, have been killed by Palestinians in the same period, the highest number since 2008.