Over thirty hours later and seven Palestinians killed, Israel's 'raid' on Jenin continues

Over thirty hours later and seven Palestinians killed, Israel's 'raid' on Jenin continues
Since 7 October, Israel ramped up raids on Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank, killing 282 Palestinians and arresting more than 3,600.
5 min read
West Bank
13 December, 2023
Israeli forces have killed 492 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since January, including 145 in Jenin alone. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

For over 30 hours so far and no end in sight, Israel's military raid on Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank has killed seven, including two minors, the Palestinian health ministry reported. 

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said that Israeli forces arrested at least 100 Palestinians in Jenin city and its surrounding area. Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli forces arrested 20 Palestinians in the town of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah.

The seven victims were identified as Rafiq Dabbous, 17 years old; Mahmoud Esayyed, 36 years old; Fouad Abahreh, 34 years old; Ahmed Samar, 13 years old; Rashad Turkman, 18 years old; Baker Zakarneh, 25 years old, and Thaer Abu Teen, 18 years old.

Israeli forces began their raid on Jenin on Tuesday just before dawn, sending hundreds of troops into the refugee camp.

"They entered many houses and searched violently", Ismail Butmeh, a 25-year-old resident of Jenin camp, told The New Arab. "I woke up to the sound of shooting outside and haven't dared to leave the house until now".

"I continued to hear the occupation's drones flying around the clock for more than 16 hours, and several times I heard explosions from the air strikes," he said, having to interrupt his account to TNA because "the soldiers are next door".

Ula Zakarneh, a cousin of 25-year-old Baker Zakarneh, one of the victims, told TNA that "[Baker] was sitting on the sidewalk with a group of friends when an Israeli drone fired a missile right beside where they were sitting, and he was gravely wounded and later died at the hospital".

"He had five siblings, and his brother, Sudqi, was killed by the occupation in a previous raid last year," she pointed out. "He was born after years of waiting by his parents, and he was very cherished by everybody, the most loving and caring of all his siblings, the most sociable and friendly of them in the camp". 

"When his father, my uncle, received news of his death, he suffered a heart attack and was treated at the Jenin hospital, and he survived but is now unable to speak", she added. "The family is devastated and unable to mourn because the occupation army continues to raid the camp, and we don't know when we are going to be able to bury him. This is the situation of all the families of the victims so far".

During the raid, Israeli forces directly assaulted Palestinian journalists, according to several journalists who were covering the raid.

"We were stationed very close to the Jenin hospital, wearing our blue vests clearly marked as press and with our media equipment clearly identifiable", a journalist who asked not to be named, told TNA.

"An Israeli army vehicle began to approach us to the point it was almost pushing us, so we were forced to move, but the military vehicle kept coming after us, turning right and left to come at us directly, pushing us to the hospital's entrance gate", they detailed.

"Once at the gate, soldiers began to fire tear gas canisters directly towards us, and there was only us, journalists, and civilians inside the hospital's courtyard. One of us, reporter Raneen Sawaftah, was hit by a canister in the face and was treated at the hospital for bursts and asphyxiation", they added.

On Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 hours into the Israeli raid, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in a statement that "the situation in the Jenin camp is in constant deterioration".

"There are dozens of calls for cases which ambulances can't reach because of obstruction by the occupation army, despite previous coordination by the Palestinian liaison office", said the statement by PRCS. 

Live Story

"Dozens of citizens [in the Jenin refugee camp] suffer lack of children's milk and bread, as occupation soldiers continue to occupy their homes and prevent them from leaving", the statement added.

The current Israeli raid on Jenin is the third since last week and the longest since February when Israeli forces raided the Jenin camp for 48 hours.

Since 7 October, Israel has ramped up its raids on Palestinian cities in the West Bank, arresting more than 3,600 Palestinians, which is as many Palestinians as arrested between the beginning of 2023 and 6 October.

The Israeli offensive on Gaza has claimed more than 17,000 Palestinians, including more than 7,000 children,  while Israeli forces and settlers have killed 282 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 7 October.

Since the beginning of 2023, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 492 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 145 in the Jenin governorate.