Jenin fiercely resists Israel’s constant attacks

Tamara Nassar

The Electronic Intifada  /  May 21, 2022

A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli troops in Jenin early Saturday morning.

Palestinian health authorities identified him as Amjad Walid al-Fayed, 17 years old.

The Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad said their member was killed in an exchange of fire between Palestinian resistance fighters and Israeli occupation forces during an Israeli invasion of the northern West Bank city.

Hundreds of people turned out for al-Fayed’s funeral on Saturday.

A second teen was seriously injured when Israeli forces shot him in the stomach.

Islamic Jihad said al-Fayed was related to two Palestinian resistance militants who fought against Israeli occupation troops during their invasion of Jenin in April 2002.

Twenty years ago, his uncles, Amjad and Muhammad al-Fayed, were allegedly involved in an ambush that killed 13 Israeli soldiers.

In April 2002, ​​the Israeli military massacred at least 52 Palestinians and injured scores of others in Jenin refugee camp, according to a report by the United Nations secretary-general at the time.

Israeli forces also shelled 150 buildings, leaving 450 families homeless. According to the report, 23 Israeli soldiers were dead by the end of the operation.

Child as human shield

Last week, Israeli soldiers used a Palestinian teenage girl as a human shield during a firefight with Palestinian gunmen in Jenin.

The Israeli military besieged the house of Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb in Jenin’s Al-Hadaf neighborhood at 6 am on 13 May in order to arrest her 20-year-old brother.

After ordering Ahed’s parents and younger brothers out of the house, the Israeli army opened fire at the house where her brother remained. Her brother retaliated by shooting at the Israeli troops, according to a field investigation by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Two hours later, Palestinian resistance fighters began firing heavily at an Israeli military vehicle.

Soldiers forced Ahed to stand outside the military vehicle for two hours while they sat inside exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen.

“Bullets were being fired at the military vehicle from all directions,” Ahed told DCIP.

“I was trembling and crying and shouting to the soldiers to remove me because the bullets were passing over my head,” Ahed added.

“But one of them ordered me in Arabic through a small window in the military vehicle, ‘stay where you are and don’t move. You’re a terrorist. Stand in your place until you say goodbye to your brother.’”

“Ahed tried to tilt her head to the side to dodge the bullets, but one of the Israeli soldiers ordered her to stand up straight,” DCIP stated.

She was forced to remain there for two hours before running near a tree and collapsing. She was treated at the hospital for severe mental distress and low oxygen levels.

After evacuating Ahed’s house, where she lived with her extended family, including eight children, Israeli forces bombed the house with rocket-propelled grenades, causing it to catch fire, and then attacked it with live ammunition.

Resistance in Jenin

In recent weeks, the Israeli military has intensified its attacks in Jenin as resistance in its refugee camp has grown more defiant.

Israeli forces invaded Jenin refugee camp and the nearby town of Burqin on 13 May, as it has been doing on a nearly daily basis, wounding more than a dozen Palestinians and making arrests.

One Israeli officer was killed by Palestinian resistance fighters in Burqin that day.

Israeli forces sought to arrest Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Dubai. Israeli troops surrounded his home and ordered him to surrender himself.

Following an hours-long exchange of fire between al-Dubai and Israeli occupation forces, which reportedly included Israeli forces firing Energa anti-tank rifle grenades at his house, al-Dubai was arrested.

“The amount of gunfire aimed at us was indescribable, thousands of bullets,” an unnamed “senior officer” was quoted as saying by Arutz Sheva, a publication supporting Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank.

“I have been in the army for more than 20 years and I have never seen anything like it.”

In an effort to find new ways to thwart resistance, Israel is considering a return to the use of air raids against the camp – a method of repression the West Bank has not seen since the second intifada two decades ago.

“Helicopters and drones may be used to secure ground troops through the use of deterrent fire and possibly shoot at armed combatants,” the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.

Brothers of prisoners killed

Meanwhile, the brother of one of six Palestinians who last September escaped from one of Israel’s most fortified prisons has died after being shot by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin.

During the fighting in Jenin on 13 May, Israeli forces shot Daoud Zubaidi. He was a brother of Zakaria Zubeidi, the most well-known prisoner who escaped in September.

Zakaria Zubeidi is a former commander of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a Fatah-affiliated militia.

Daoud was transferred to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he died on 15 May.

The far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir visited that hospital shortly before Daoud Zubeidi’s death was announced.

Ben-Gvir called for Daoud Zubeidi to be executed.

“This terrorist along with other terrorists should be sent to the electric chair,” Ben-Gvir said in a video.

“Whoever shoots in the direction of our soldiers, whoever tries to kill should not receive treatment or coddling in a hospital. They need to receive death in the electric chair.”

The killing of Daoud Zubaidi brings to 228 the number of Palestinians who have died while in Israeli detention. Israel is still withholding his body and refusing to hand it over to his family.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israeli forces fired at him with the aim of “liquidating” him.

The brother of another escaped prisoner died in fighting with Israeli forces last month.

Shas Kamamji, 29, was killed in Kafr Dan village on 14 April when Israeli forces opened fire at a crowd of people throwing stones at military vehicles.

Kamamji was the brother of Ayham Kamamji, another one of the escapees from Gilboa prison. The escape was viewed as a devastating blow to the reputation of Israel’s security apparatus.

The prisoners remained at large for days and in some cases weeks before being rearrested.

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada