Israeli forces raid Jenin again as internal Palestinian tensions intensifies

Israeli forces raid Jenin again as internal Palestinian tensions intensifies
3 min read
West Bank
18 August, 2023
Israeli forces continued a raid on Jenin on Thursday, hours after killing a Palestinian man in the city. Israel's attack comes after clashes between local fighters and Palestinian security forces shook Jenin last week.
Since the beginning of 2023 Israeli forces have killed 68 Palestinians in Jenin, according to the Palestinian health ministry [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Armed confrontations erupted between raiding Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday night, 17 August. The raid, in which no casualties were reported, came after an Israeli attack on the city, which killed 32-year-old Mostafa Qunboa earlier in the day. 

Qunboa was shot while confronting Israeli forces who arrested two other Palestinians, including his brother, in Jenin's old city.

At his funeral on Thursday afternoon, Qunboa's mother told the media that he was in an upper room of the family's house when Israeli soldiers surrounded the home.

"He told me to take his and his brother's children away to safety, and then the shooting got intense," she told The New Arab

"Mostafa Qunboa was besieged in the three-story house in Jenin city by the occupation forces, as people in the area ran away from the scene," Shatha Hanaysheh, journalist and resident of Jenin, said to TNA.

"He apparently engaged the occupation soldiers with a rifle while they arrested his brother and another young man, and he was hit by live fire in the chest and abdomen," she said.

Jenin has been at the centre of a series of deadly Israeli military raids for over a year. In early July, Israeli forces raided the refugee camp in the city for 48 hours, killing ten Palestinians and destroying large parts of the camp's infrastructure.

The city and refugee camp have also witnessed the rise of local Palestinian armed resistance groups, who have been challenging Israeli forces from the camp.

"The [Israeli] occupation's repeated raids have only strengthened the population's support for the resistance fighters," Najat Abu Butmeh, a teacher, social worker and resident of Jenin, remarked to TNA.

"These raids also united the residents and the fighters beyond factional labels," she said. "This unity has been challenged recently by the clashes between Palestinian security forces and the fighters in the camp and the city."

Last week, clashes erupted around the Jenin camp between armed Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces, during which armed men opened fire at the PA-run police station in the city.

Tensions between Palestinian armed militants and the PA have been increasing in recent months, mainly due to the PA forces' detention of militants from the city, mostly from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ).

In late July, the PIJ boycotted a Palestinian factions summit meeting in Cairo, protesting the continuous detention of its members in Jenin by the PA.

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The PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, visited Jenin following the Israeli raid, where he said that there was "only one state, one authority, one armed force" in Palestine.

On Thursday, the PA Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, condemned Israel's raids on Jenin, including the killing of Mostafa Qunboa, saying, "The absence of international accountability encourages Israel to continue its crimes".

Shtayyeh called upon the International Criminal Court to requisition Israeli officials and hold them accountable.

Since the beginning of 2023, Israeli forces have killed at least 228 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 68 in Jenin alone.