Israeli army kills resistance fighter and man who tried to save him

Mariam Barghouti

Mondoweiss  /  January 19, 2023

In Jenin refugee camp, Israeli forces killed resistance fighter Adham Jabareen. When eyewitness Jawad Bawaqneh tried to save him, he was also shot and killed by Israeli forces.

On Thursday, January 19, Israeli forces invaded Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank and killed two Palestinians, and injured two others.

Adham Mohammad Bassem Jabareen, 28, and Jawad Foad Hussein Bawaqneh, 57, were killed by Israeli gunfire as soldiers raided the camp, firing teargas, stun grenades, and live ammunition, according to local sources.

The two martyrs were carried from Ibn Sina hospital around noon on Thursday and taken to their final resting place. 

The latest assault on the camp brings the number of Palestinians killed within the first three weeks of 2023 to 17. Nine of the 17 were killed in Jenin — six resistance fighters and four children.

Raid in the night

Shortly after midnight, at 2:30 a.m., alarms around Jenin refugee camp began to sound. As Israeli forces moved towards the camp, resistance fighters responded with explosive devices and live ammunition directed at military vehicles.

According to a statement from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, Al-Quds Brigade, the confrontations lasted for hours.

By 4:00 a.m., Israeli soldiers took over one of the residential buildings near the entrance of Jenin refugee camp, occupying one of its apartments and using it as a temporary military base for the remainder of the ongoing assault. The electricity in the camp was also cut off as the army moved further inward. 

Footage collected through CCTV cameras shows the soldiers firing high-velocity teargas canisters within the narrow alleyways of Jenin and its refugee camp. 

Youth from the camp confronted the soldiers, a common occurrence in Jenin over the past year. Moreover, the reality of facing imprisonment or knowing someone who is imprisoned has become as widespread as it is inevitable for Palestinian youth, further motivating them to confront the invading military forces.

By 6:00 a.m. Adham Jabareen had been killed with a bullet to the chest, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Details have not yet emerged regarding how he was killed.

Jabareen had been imprisoned in Israeli prisons for two years and eight months shortly before his death. According to reports from local journalists, after his release, Jabareen had joined armed confrontations with the Al-Quds Brigades.

And as Palestinian armed resistance abandons factional and political loyalties in the face of Israel’s Operation Break the Wave, Jabareen was also fighting outside of Jenin during Israeli military invasions. 

According to local reports, Jabareen had been not only part of the Jenin Brigade, but also active in the Lions’ Den armed resistance group operating out of the Old City of Nablus.

Everyone is a target

Shortly after the shooting of Jabareen, a local gym teacher and father of six, Jawad Baqawneh attempted to reach the injured fighter near his home.

According to local journalists, the 57-year-old was killed by a sniper shot. “It wasn’t one shot or two shots or three shots, it was more than eight shots,” Baqawneh’s son said in an interview circulating on social media, recalling his father’s execution.

“I came down with my father to grab Adham’s body,” Baqawneh’s son continued, pointing towards the building that soldiers had occupied at dawn. “Israeli forces weren’t allowing ambulances,” the young man explained. That was when Baqawneh was shot.

“A bullet pierced my father’s shoulder [from behind] and came out the other end,” he said in the interview. “After that my father collapsed, and we had to drag him.” 

Alongside Adham’s body, Baqawneh’s son and his family dragged the bodies back inside the house. “My father was already 90% dead by this point,” he said. “We had to take him [and Adham] to the Ibn Sina Hospital in our own private car.”

According to Atta Jaber, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, most injuries from the camp had to be evacuated in private cars by civilians.

Denial of medical services and assaults on medical personnel has been a common practice of the Israeli army that persists with impunity, despite constituting a grave violation of international law. 

“This is the message of the occupation,” Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled Abu Zeina, told the Quds News Network. “That even those giving medical care to someone who was shot is a target.” 

After the invasion of the refugee camp, the Israeli army continued its violence at the hospital, where live ammunition was shot directly at Jenin’s Khalil Shaheen public hospital. According to a statement by Wisam Baker, the director of the hospital, Israeli live fire targeted the pediatric spaces of the hospitals, as well as meeting rooms for medical staff and doctors. The Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Kaileh, also released a statement decrying the attack and appealed for urgent international intervention and protection. 

Abu Zeina’s family home was also raided at dawn, and soldiers arrested two of Abu Zeina’s children, Ows and Hani Abu Zeina, along with two others from the camp, Hasan al-Zaghal and Malek Istiti. The latter three have since been released, while Ows remains held in Israeli detention at the time of writing.

Another 10 Palestinians were arrested in other operations across the West Bank, especially in Hebron/Al-Khalil. 

Last year, Israeli forces arrested more than 7,000 Palestinians across the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society. These search-and-arrest operations have continued into the new year, and have almost always resulted in the killing of a Palestinian. In 2022, Israeli forces killed 231 Palestinians, most of them during such night raids. Of those killed, 36 were children, and 13 of them were in the Jenin governorate alone.

“Even if there were no resistance from any of the factions, the Israeli army still would have continued its slaughter in the camp,” Abu Zeina told Quds News Network. “It is resistance which is obstructing them,” he said.

Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss