The Electronic Intifada / July 3, 2023
Israeli occupation forces launched a large-scale invasion of Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank during the early hours of Monday.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Hassanein, 21, died after he was shot in the head by soldiers at the entrance to Al-Bireh near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Al-Jazeera interview with Ali Abunmah :
Palestinian health officials reported that three Palestinians had been killed and at least 13 more injured during the ongoing invasion of Jenin, three of them seriously.
Those numbers are likely to rise as hundreds of troops were deployed to Jenin and its refugee camp, preventing the rescue and evacuation of the wounded.
Occupation forces reportedly fired missiles from the air at what Israel claimed was a building housing weapons and a command post for resistance fighters in the West Bank city.
One of those killed is reported to be Sami Abu al-Wafa, the son of a senior Fatah activist in the camp. Al-Jazeera reported that resistance fighters on the outskirts of the camp were attempting to prevent Israeli ground forces from advancing further.
The violence is certain to escalate as Israel announced that its operation is intended to be a “wide scale effort against terror” in Jenin.
I told Al-Jazeera English that the attack on Jenin was driven by the Israeli government’s need to satisfy the bloodlust of its settlers and to mete out revenge against Palestinians for resisting the theft of their land.
In recent weeks Israel has allowed settler mobs to carry out pogroms against Palestinians, especially in the northern West Bank.
UN Human Rights chief Volker Türk recently warned that the violence was “spiraling out of control.”
But as I told Al-Jazeera, the bloodshed is spiraling very much within Israel’s control. Israel took the decision to attack Jenin, just as Israel has taken the decision to accelerate its theft of Palestinian land and to unleash and enable settlers to perpetrate pogroms.
Israel as the occupying power is the initiator of the violence to which Palestinians are responding and resisting.
You can watch that interview in the video at the top of this article.
Monday’s invasion is reminiscent of Israel’s 2002 assault on Jenin refugee camp, which inflicted wide scale destruction and killed dozens of Palestinians.
During that assault, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Last month, Israeli forces met unexpectedly stiff resistance during a raid in which they killed five Palestinians in Jenin, with the city’s defenders using sophisticated tactics including improvised explosive devices to disable a number of Israeli military vehicles.
Two more Palestinians later died from their injuries, including a 14-year-old girl who was recording military vehicles passing by her home when she was shot in the head by a sniper from the back of a vehicle.
Israel also carried out its first airstrike in the West Bank in nearly two decades near Jenin last month, killing three Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy.
At least 180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli police, troops and settlers in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip since the start of the year, or died from injuries sustained previously.
In the same period, 28 people have been killed by Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank in occupation-related violence, or died from previous injuries.
While the pretext for Israel’s attacks on Palestinians is always fighting what Israel calls “terror” and bringing “security” for Israeli citizens, the result is invariably the opposite.
The day after Israel’s deadly raid on Jenin last month, four Israeli settlers were killed in a shooting attack in the West Bank.
Ali Abunimah is executive director of The Electronic Intifada