Mondoweiss / October 9, 2022
Shu’fat refugee camp and neighboring towns are under siege as the Israeli military launches a manhunt following a drive-by shooting operation against Shu’fat military checkpoint.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on October 8, an armed Palestinian operation took place at the Israeli military checkpoint outside of Shu’fat refugee camp. The drive-by shooting operation resulted in the death of one Israeli military policewoman, Noa Lazar (18), who was stationed at the military checkpoint, and the injury of another Israeli soldier.
According to a statement from the Israeli Police, four suspects were arrested on October 9.
The four Palestinian suspects were arrested by a special unit of undercover Israeli agents disguised as Palestinians, the Musta’ribeen, near the Anata checkpoint.
Israel responds with collective punishment
Immediately after the shooting attack conducted against Israeli military targets, the army and police raided Shu’fat refugee camp, firing teargas into the middle of residential areas, while special undercover forces were deployed to carry out covert arrests across nearby towns, including Anata, 12 km east of Shu’fat.
The search-and-arrest campaign has been extensive, including large numbers of Police, Border Guard, Israeli intelligence (Shin Bet), and army personnel, including aerial support from military helicopters.
Israeli forces have employed a policy of collective punishment and community terrorization. The town of Anata witnessed a coordinated attack, as the homes of the Al-Tamimi family were invaded in the Salam neighborhood of Anata. Qassem al-Tamimi, 25, turned himself in to the Israeli forces.
During the afternoon of that same day, Israeli forces also arrested 20 Palestinians from the Jerusalem area, under the pretext of searching for the perpetrators of the Shu’fat attack. However, these Jerusalem arrests were reportedly taking place several hours prior to the drive-by shooting.
Ever since Saturday evening, Shu’fat refugee camp has been closed off by military decree, effectively placing the refugee camp under siege. Entry and exit points for Palestinian residents are closed, and eyewitnesses report Israeli snipers stationed on top of residential buildings, which have been forcibly commandeered as military bases.
Resistance continues across the Palestinian geography
Palestinian popular resistance committees and political factions hailed the armed operation as a testament to the continuation of Palestinian resistance to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the illegal military occupation of Palestinian land.
Just hours before the drive-by shooting, Palestinians were burying two youth, Mohammad al-Sous (18), and Ahmad Daraghmeh (16). Both were killed during a massive military invasion of Jenin refugee camp earlier on Saturday, October 8.
Daraghmeh is from the Palestinian town of Tubas, near Nablus. Like Nablus and Jenin, Tubas is a Palestinian city that has become all-too familiar with Israeli military incursions.
On January 9, 2018, Israeli forces shot a 3-year-old in the head during a military training exercise, at around the same time that the Israeli army began to intensify its invasions of the areas around Jenin, Nablus, Jerusalem, and Tubas.
The focus of armed Palestinian resistance has largely been centralized in the Jenin and Nablus areas, which the Israeli military regards as a “breeding ground for terrorism.”
The expansion of this phenomenon to other areas, including Silwad last August and this most recent operation at the Shu’fat military checkpoint, may spell the expansion of resistance activity in the face of continued extra-judicial Israeli assassinations and collective punishment.
Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss