Massacre: Israel forces kill nine Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp

Massacre: Israel forces kill nine Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp
Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu Al-Rub said the Israeli army is 'destroying everything and shooting at everything that moves'.
3 min read
26 January, 2023
Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu Al-Rub said residents were living in a 'real state of war' [ZAIN JAAFAR/AFP/Getty]

Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians including an elderly woman during a raid on the occupied West Bank's Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, also accusing the army of using tear gas inside a hospital.

The Palestinian health ministry, which gave the latest death toll, has also reported 16 injuries of which four are severe, according to official news agency Wafa.

In a separate statement, Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said that "occupation forces stormed Jenin Government Hospital and intentionally fired tear gas canisters at the paediatric department in the hospital".

Israel's army declined to comment when asked by AFP about the health minister's tear gas allegation.

Al-Kaila described the situation in the refugee camp as "critical" and said Israeli forces were preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded.

Among those killed were 24-year-old Saeb Essam Mahmoud Izreiqi and 26-year-old Izz Al-Din Yassin Salahat, according to Wafa.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesperson for the Palestinian presidency, said events in Jenin and the city's refugee camp were a massacre, Wafa reported.

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The foreign ministry said it had mobilised its embassies to demand international intervention to stop the Israeli aggression, The New Arab's Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu Al-Rub told AFP that residents were living in a "real state of war".

"The Israeli army is destroying everything and shooting at everything that moves," he said.

Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority, has called for a general strike, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

"Today we announce a general strike and continuing escalation in every spot the occupation sets foot in and in every street and point of contact," the group said in a statement.

"Let us mobilise to deter the occupation so the blood and sacrifices of our people will not be in vain."

Residents of the Jenin camp discovered Israeli special forces were hiding in a commercial truck at around 7am, local sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

This led to confrontations with Palestinian fighters, and the Israeli military sent a large number of reinforcements in within minutes, according to the sources.

Israeli forces cut off the camp's electricity supply.

The Israeli army has only said that its "forces are operating in Jenin".

Thursday's fatalities bring the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank so far this year to 29, most of whom were shot by Israeli forces.

At least 146 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in 2022 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

Last year's death toll was the highest since 2004, during the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation.

Among those killed in 2022 was renowned Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, who was shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a military raid on the Jenin camp.

Israel began carrying out near-nightly deadly raids in the West Bank last spring. The cities of Jenin and Nablus have been heavily targeted.

Agencies contributed to this report.