Jenin braces for Israeli retaliation after Israeli officer, two Palestinians killed in gunfight
Palestinians in Jenin expressed worry about a possible Israeli escalation after two Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed in a firefight at the Jalama checkpoint, north of Jenin.
The shooting took place hours after the Israeli cabinet met to discuss the security situation in the West Bank, concluding that more escalation is ahead, especially during the Jewish holidays that will begin the last week of September.
Israeli media quoted the Israeli army claiming that an Israeli force set out to flank the two Palestinians who had approached the checkpoint before the pair opened fire at Israeli soldiers.
The two Palestinian young men, Ahmed and Abdel Rahman Abed, from the town of Kafr Adhan, were shot dead by Israeli occupation gunfire near the Al-Jalama checkpoint, north of Jenin. pic.twitter.com/N09lX1AYjm— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) September 14, 2022
According to Israeli reports, the dead officer was a 30-year-old deputy commander of the Israeli elite Nahal unit, Major Bar Falah.
The two Palestinians were identified as Ahmed and Abdel Rahman Abed, cousins and from the village of Kufr Dan, west of Jenin. Israeli forces withheld their bodies.
"Ahmed was the only boy among four sisters and Abdel Rahman had three sisters and one brother", Murad Taha, uncle to both of them, told The New Arab.
"Ahmed had graduated some years ago from the Palestinian police academy and worked as a member of the Palestinian security forces, while Abdel Rahman was a farmer and stone worker", Taha said.
"They both loved football and were members of a local football team, Ahmed as a defensive player and Abdel Rahman as a goalkeeper," he added. "They both were very enthusiastic and loved life, always giving a hand to anyone who needed help in the village, respected and loved by everybody."
"Back in April, Israeli forces killed Ahmed's closest friend who had studied with him at the police academy, and although he didn't show it much and continued to smile and enjoy life, he was deeply moved by the loss", Taha remarked. "However, nobody expected him to take action in such a way."
Media coverage: "A picture of Ahmad Ayman Abed, a Palestinian intelligence officer who was shot dead this early morning in an exchange of gunfire with the Israeli occupation forces at Al-Jalama checkpoint, north of Jenin." pic.twitter.com/EF9Cj0jo4t— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) September 14, 2022
"There is a general feeling of sadness in Kufr Dan, and a commercial strike was called by local associations in mourning", Mohammad Abed, a relative of the two killed men, told The New Arab.
"Early on Wednesday, a spontaneous demonstration roamed the streets of the village after the news broke, as many people went to the houses of the two families to support them", said Abed.
"Residents are expecting an Israeli raid at any moment," he added.
Expectations of an Israeli retaliation extended to the Jenin refugee camp, where much of the escalation has unfolded in recent months.
"People in Jenin are preparing for a possible large Israeli raid," Atta Abu Rmeileh, local secretary of Fatah in the camp, told The New Arab.
"Every time there is a shooting in Jenin, Israeli forces attack the camp, and people feel this time will be no exception," Abu Rmeileh noted. "Although life continues as normal, people are in a state of alert."
"What worries people the most is the loss of lives with every new raid. There is also a sense of determination and steadfastness," he added.
Since the beginning of 2022, some 35 Palestinians have been killed in Jenin by Israeli forces, 96 in all of the occupied West Bank and nearly 150 in all of the Palestinian territories.