Three Palestinian resistance fighters killed in Israeli attack

Palestinian fighters from Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad resistance group, take part in a military parade in Khan Younis - Gaza Strip (Ashraf Amra - APA Images)

Tamara Nassar

The Electronic Intifada  /  April 3, 2022

Three Palestinian resistance fighters were killed by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in the Jenin area on Saturday.

Israeli occupation forces, including members of the Yamam unit of Israel’s Border Police, ambushed the men at the Arraba junction in the occupied West Bank governorate of Jenin.

Israel’s domestic spying and torture agency Shin Bet said the Palestinians opened fire at their attackers, who fatally shot all three of them.

Israeli authorities said weapons were found in the men’s vehicle.

The men were identified as Saeb Abahrah, 30, and Khalil Tawableh, 24, from Jenin, and Saif Abu Labdeh, 25, from Tulkarem. Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad resistance group, identified them as their own militants.

Palestinian paramedics saw the bodies of the men in a car, but Israeli occupation forces prevented them from approaching and providing aid, Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.

The men’s bodies were then transferred by military ambulance, but it is unclear if any medical aid was provided to them.

Four members of the Israeli paramilitary unit were injured, one seriously, but in stable condition.

Israeli authorities claimed the men were previously involved in armed actions “against Israeli security forces,” according to The Jerusalem Post, and were planning to conduct an operation on the night they were killed.

Under international law, Palestinians have the right to use armed resistance against Israeli military occupation. Israel, however, characterizes any and all resistance to its military occupation as “terrorism.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asserted that the men were a “ticking time-bomb,” in an effort to justify killings that may bear the hallmark of extrajudicial executions.

The killings come as Israeli authorities attempt to reassure the Israeli public that they are cracking down hard on Palestinians after a spate of attacks in recent weeks that has claimed 11 Israeli lives – a rare surge in the number of Israelis killed in conflict-related violence.

The killings over the weekend bring to 29 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces and settler fire since the beginning of the year.

This number includes five Palestinian children, the youngest of whom was 13 years old.

Tensions have been rising in the days leading up to Ramadan. Israel’s military and police apparatus are on the highest level of alert.

Twenty years ago nearly to the day, the Israeli military carried out an invasion of Jenin refugee camp that lasted almost two weeks.

The Israeli military massacred at least 52 Palestinians and injured scores of others, according to a report compiled 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.

Since then, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have worked hand in hand in an effort to stop Jenin from becoming a center of armed Palestinian resistance to Israeli military occupation.

Meanwhile on Friday, Israeli occupation forces shot Ahmad Yunis al-Atrash, 29, in the head, killing him.

Israeli authorities said a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the army, and a soldier responded with gunfire, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

It is unclear whether Al-Atrash was at all involved in the alleged throwing of the Molotov cocktail.

Israel’s propaganda portrays recent attacks by Palestinians as motivated by religious extremism and hatred rather than resistance to its colonization and military occupation.

Palestinian attackers were also accused by Israeli authorities of having ties or “sympathy” with the Islamic state, also known as ISIS.

However, accusations of this sort should be taken with a grain of salt.

Israel has previously accused a Palestinian Bedouin it killed of having ties to ISIS and later apologized and admitted it was false.

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada