Palestinian commander thought to be dead resurfaces in West Bank funeral

Palestinian commander thought to be dead resurfaces in West Bank funeral
Many had thought Abu Shujaa was killed during the more than two-day raid on the Nur Shams camp by Israeli forces last week.
2 min read
22 April, 2024
Thousands attended the funeral on Sunday of the 14 Palestinians killed [Getty]

The commander of a Palestinian armed group in the occupied West Bank who was thought to have been killed had attended on Sunday the funeral of fighters slain by Israeli forces.

Mohammad Jaber, also known as Abu Shujaa, was believed to have been killed by the Israeli military last week during a nearly 50-hour raid on the Nur Shams camp in Tulkarm, in the northern West Bank.

The raid killed at least 14 Palestinians – including a teenager – and wounded several more people, the latest in a series of deadly Israeli incursions in the West Bank since the start of the Gaza war.

But some Israeli media, such as Israel Hayom newspaper, said reports that Abu Shujaa was killed were inaccurate.

The young man commands the Nour Shams Battalion, part of the Tulkarm Brigade.

He was seen at the fighters' funeral on Sunday, surrounded by members of the battalion and thousands of funeral attendees, as some men carried him on their shoulders.

"Our message is that we defied the [Israeli] occupation and we are still alive, and we are still walking on the path of the martyrs, no matter how much they assassinate us. This situation will not end until [we claim] victory," Abu Shuja is seen saying in one video posted online.

He claims his armed brigade managed to kill and injure a number of Israeli soldiers, challenging Israel to admit the number of casualties it suffered.

He vowed to press on with the resistance against Israel.

Abu Shujaa is a key figure on Israel's hit list and had been injured previously during raids in December.

Around 13,500 Palestinians live in the Nur Shams refugee camp. It has been repeatedly invaded by Israeli forces over the years, targeting local armed groups, but deadly assaults have escalated since the start of the war on Gaza in October.

As of Sunday, at least 486 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces or extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank since the beginning of the Gaza war, according to the Palestinian health ministry.