Palestinians strike following Israel's killing of Udai Tamimi

Palestinians strike following Israel's killing of Udai Tamimi
As the news spread Wednesday night of his death, young armed men strode the streets of the Jenin refugee camp, chanting, "Udai, you kept our heads held up high."
3 min read
20 October, 2022
Palestinians walk in an empty street in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on 20 October 2022 during a general strike in protest of the killing of Udai Tamimi. [Getty]

Various Palestinian factions declared Thursday a day of mourning for Udai Tamimi, a 21-year-old Palestinian man who was killed in a gunfight with Israeli security guards Wednesday evening.

Shops and schools in East Jerusalem were shut, as multiple Palestinian cities across the West Bank went on a general strike.

Udai Tamimi had evaded capture for nearly two weeks after killing an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem and resurfaced for a second attack before being killed. 

Video footage showed Tamimi on the ground with a gun, firing shots apparently at Israeli guards at the Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Adumim in the occupied West Bank.

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On October 8, he arrived at the Shuafat refugee camp checkpoint with a handgun and opened fire at close range, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding two other security personnel. Then, on October 19, he struck again. This time, at the Ma'ale Adumim settlement near the Palestinian town of Ezariya.

Tamimi went into hiding after the attack on the Shuafat checkpoint, and the Israeli security apparatus initiated a broad campaign to capture him but failed.

His success in hiding for eleven days, surfacing again at another checkpoint, and engaging settlement guards is notable, and he quickly became a popular figure of Palestinian resistance.

As the news spread Wednesday night of his death, young armed men strode the streets of the Jenin refugee camp, chanting, "Udai, you kept our heads held up high."

During the early hours of Thursday, Palestinian fighters launched four separate attacks at Israeli army positions in Nablus and Jenin in retaliation to the killing of Udai Tamimi.  

"The blood of Udai and the blood of Palestine's martyrs are fuel to the fury....," the Lions' Den group said in a statement. 

In a tweet, the Israeli army wrote: "Earlier today an improvised explosive device was hurled from a moving vehicle towards IDF soldiers in Nablus. IDF soldiers responded with live fire towards the moving vehicle. The assailants managed to escape & the vehicle was later found abandoned with another explosive device."

The Israeli PM Yair Lapid commended the Israeli security forces for 'eliminating' Udai Tamimi.

Benny Gantz, the Israeli defence minister, praised the settlement's security guards for their 'vigilance' and for preventing 'further harm to human life.'

Tamimi hails from the Shuafat refugee camp, home to more than a hundred thousand Palestinians, and holds an Israeli ID.

Israeli forces took measurements of the Tamimi home days after the Shufat attack. The standard procedure by the army precedes the blowing up of a structure in retaliation to an attack.

174 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the year, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.

Unrest is likely to continue that is if it does not escalate further.

13 Israelis, including four soldiers and nine civilians, were killed in the same period.

On June 5, 1967, Israel launched an attack against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. In just a few days, Israeli forces seized the Sinai, the Syrian Golan heights, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The latter was then under Jordanian rule.