Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Jenin raid

Mohammed Ayman al-Saadi and Naeem Jamal al-Zubaidi (Social media)

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  December 1, 2022

Mohammed Ayman al-Saadi, 26, and Naeem Jamal al-Zubaidi, 27, are the seventh and eighth Palestinians to be shot dead in the last 72 hours.

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians during an overnight army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday. 

Mohammed Ayman al-Saadi, 26, and Naeem Jamal al-Zubaidi, 27, were killed in armed clashes that erupted in the city just after 2am local time following a large incursion by Israeli troops into the city.

The Jenin Brigade, a local armed group made up mainly of Islamic Jihad members, said Al-Saadi was a field commander and Al-Zubaidi was a senior leader in the group. 

They became the seventh and eighth Palestinians to be killed in the West Bank in the last 72 hours.

The Israeli army said it entered the town of Wadi Burqin near Jenin refugee camp to arrest three Palestinians then came under fire before responding with gunshots and “hits were identified”. 

A general strike has been announced in Jenin to mourn the two fighters. 

Israeli forces conduct raid-and-arrest operations across the West Bank on a near-nightly basis and they often lead to the wounding or killing of Palestinians. 

On Wednesday, Mohammad Tawfiq Badarnah was killed in an afternoon raid in the town of Yabad west of Jenin. 

A day earlier, five Palestinians were shot dead in separate incidents in the West Bank, including two brothers. 

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

Israeli forces and settlers have killed 158 Palestinians, including at least 30 children, in the West Bank in 2022, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

It is the deadliest on a monthly average for Palestinians since the UN began recording fatalities in 2005.

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.

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Two Palestinians killed by Israel in Jenin refugee camp raid

Al-Jazeera  /  December 1, 2022

The two men were reported by local and regional media to be leaders of a local battalion that was part of Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli military has killed two Palestinians during a raid in the occupied West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp after heavy clashes erupted, Palestinian officials have said, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the last 72 hours up to eight.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that the men killed on Thursday were 27-year-old Naeem Jamal al-Zubaidi and 26-year-old Mohammed Ayman al-Saadi. Another man was also injured.

The Jenin Battalion of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades said that the men killed were two of its leaders.

The Israeli military said troops came under fire, and shot back, during a Jenin-area raid to arrest suspected militants.

The bodies of the two men were carried by Palestinian crowds from the Ibn Sina Hospital through the streets of the Jenin refugee camp.

Fatah and other Palestinian factions have called for a strike in Jenin on Thursday in protest over the killings.

In a separate incident on Wednesday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian during a raid in Yabad, near Jenin, medical and military officials said.

WAFA named the 25-year-old as Mohammed Tawfiq Badarneh.

Israel’s military said it had entered Yabad to arrest Abd al-Ghani Harzallah, who it “suspected of terrorist activity”.

The army added that it opened fire after “armed suspects fired at the soldiers and explosive devices were hurled in the area”.

This week’s deaths raise the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel this year to 210, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israel regularly raids the West Bank, which it has illegally occupied since 1967, but has stepped up the frequency this year in an attempt to crack down on growing resistance from Palestinian armed factions, particularly in Jenin and Nablus.

The near-daily raids regularly result in Israeli forces killing Palestinians.

Thirty-one people in Israel and the occupied West Bank have also been killed in Palestinian attacks this year, according to Israeli military figures.

Israeli unit removed from West Bank

The Israeli military separately said on Wednesday that it was temporarily removing a unit of ultra-Orthodox soldiers out of the occupied West Bank after a 78-year-old Palestinian American man died following an arrest by its soldiers early this year.

The army said the Netzah Yehuda (Judea Forever) Battalion will be moved to the occupied Golan Heights by the end of the year.

The announcement made no mention of the death of Omar Assad, who died after being arrested, handcuffed and blindfolded by Israeli soldiers.

Instead, it said the decision “was made out of a desire to diversify their operational deployment in multiple areas, in addition to accumulating more operational experience”. It said the unit would return to the West Bank at the end of next year.

Netzah Yehuda is a special unit for ultra-Orthodox Jewish soldiers. The unit was formed to encourage religious men, who often receive special exemptions from compulsory military service, to join the army. But its members have been implicated in past cases of abuse.

Last January, troops from Netzah Yehuda detained Assad at a checkpoint, binding his hands and blindfolding him. Troops then unbound his hands and left him face-down in an abandoned building.

The elderly man, who had lived in the United States for 40 years, was pronounced dead at a hospital after other Palestinians found him unconscious. It was unclear when exactly he died.

An autopsy undertaken by Palestinian doctors found Assad suffered from underlying health conditions, but also found bruises on his head, redness on his wrists from being bound and bleeding in his eyelids from being tightly blindfolded.

After an outcry from the US government, the Israeli military said the incident “was a grave and unfortunate event, resulting from moral failure and poor decision-making on the part of the soldiers”. It said one officer was reprimanded and two other officers reassigned to non-commanding roles, over the incident.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES