Resistance kills senior Israeli officer

Jenin - Palestinians mourn Hamad Mustafa Abu Jalda, a 24-year-old who died from wounds he sustained a week earlier during an Israeli attack (Shadi Jarar'ah - APA Images)

Tamara Nassar 

The Electronic Intifada  /  September 14, 2022 

A senior Israeli army officer was killed in an operation by two Palestinian resistance fighters early Wednesday near the West Bank city of Jenin.

The two fighters died in the confrontation with the occupation forces.

The incident began around 11:30 pm on Tuesday evening, Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported, when Ahmad Ayman Abed and Abdulrahman Hani Abed approached the Jalameh checkpoint north of Jenin.

A large number of Israeli soldiers were deployed to the area after the men approached and laid down near the checkpoint, according to the Israeli army.

Using improvised Carlo rifles, the two Palestinians reportedly opened fire at Israeli soldiers around 2:00 am, killing Bar Falah, the deputy commander of a special reconnaissance unit in the Israeli army’s Nahal Brigade. The Israeli army then returned fire, killing the two men.

The slain men were claimed as members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group nominally associated with the Fatah party.

Palestinians broadly welcomed the men’s actions as a heroic resistance operation that had imposed a heavy cost on Israel.

In the two fighters’ home village of Kufr Dan, near Jenin, people held a symbolic funeral to honor them.

In Gaza, a banner celebrating the two men was raised at a festival staged by resistance factions there.

Falah is the second Israeli officer to lose his life in confrontations with Palestinian resistance in the Jenin area this year.

In May, fighters defending the village of Burqin against a raid by occupation forces killed a senior officer in an Israeli “counterterrorism” unit.

The killing of the two men brings to nine the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of September, as Israeli occupation forces step up their attacks in the occupied West Bank.

On Sunday, a Palestinian man died of injuries he sustained during an alleged gunfight with Israeli occupation forces in Jenin last week. The shooting occurred as occupation forces carried out a revenge demolition of a Palestinian family’s home.

The Palestinian health ministry identified him as 24-year-old Hamad Mustafa Abu Jalda.

Another Palestinian, 19-year-old Muhammad Sabaaneh, was killed in the same incident while livestreaming video of the Israeli incursion on the social media app TikTok.

Over 80 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of 2022, including 21 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers, making it the deadliest year since 2015.

A similar level of violence was seen during what was often called the knife intifada of 2015, during which nearly 100 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank – often extra-judicially executed by Israeli police and soldiers.

This comes as Israel has been ramping up its attacks in the West Bank, attempting to counter the growth of armed resistance in the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus.

Israel fears that the Palestinian Authority is close to collapse, which means it will no longer be able to control Palestinians on its behalf.

In a symbol of this deterioration, one of the Palestinians who carried out the operation at the Jalameh checkpoint early Wednesday – Ahmad Ayman Abed – was an officer of the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Israeli occupation leaders have been looking for ways to “prop up” the Palestinian Authority, to ensure it continues to serve its purposes, Haaretz recently reported.

Meanwhile, Israel’s domestic spying and torture agency Shin Bet is now considering collective punishment measures against the villages where these attacks are concentrated.

During a meeting with officials, the agency suggested enacting a partial lockdown in some areas, where those entering and exiting would be searched and those who are not residents of those areas would be denied entry without special permits.

The agency also suggested revoking permits for such residents to work in Israel.

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada