Shuafat refugee camp faces 'siege-like conditions' as Israel hunts for Udai Tamimi
Udai Tamimi, the twenty-one-year-old Palestinian man, who opened fire at Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in occupied east Jerusalem last Saturday - killing one and wounding two others - remains at large.
Israeli forces reportedly suspect Tamimi is hiding in the area of the Shuafat refugee camp where about one hundred thousand Palestinians live, who, at the moment, say they're living under "siege-like conditions" following the severe movement restrictions.
According to residents and shopowners, the entry of essential goods through the Israeli-controlled checkpoint to the Shuafat refugee camp has slowed.
A poultry shop owner inside the camp told The New Arab that they hadn't received any chicken in more than two days because of the difficulty exiting the checkpoint.
Inside the refugee camp, dozens of cars queued in long lines hoping to exit the checkpoint in time to reach their workplaces.
A group of young men told TNA that they opted to pass the checkpoint on foot very early in the morning to reach an ATM.
"We're out of cash," 21-year-old Issa Rajabi told TNA. "It took us more than three hours to cross the checkpoint," he added.
Rajabi is a municipal worker in nearby Abu Ghosh. He said that he's been unable to reach his workplace since Sunday because of the Israeli army constraints on movement.
Education for thousands of children was also disrupted following Saturday's shooting. On Tuesday, schools remained shut for the third day due to the residents' concern for the safety of their kids after repeated army incursions into the camp. Teachers have also been unable to reach the area because of the difficulty crossing the checkpoint.
"There's no education," Yousef Mukhamar, a community leader, said.
'Fear and worry'
"The camp's people have lived the past three days in fear and worry," Muhammad Hawas said, referring to the Israeli army's continued presence in the refugee camp.
"We can't get any sleep, day or night, from all the tear gas and breaking into homes," he added.
Hawas stated that the Israeli army broke into his home at 2 am the night of the attack to search for the shooter.
One of the bystanders told TNA that the Israeli army's "pressure" on people would lead to an "explosion. "No one really cares; we're left alone," he continued.
Deeper inside the camp, the streets are filled with litter as municipal workers and garbage trucks haven't worked in days.
Outside a medical clinic, an older man with a white robe stood. He told TNA that medical services inside the camp were also affected because some doctors couldn't reach clinics.
Earlier, an Israeli army force made its way to the Tamimi home and surveyed the building and the neighbourhood. The standard procedure by the army that precedes the blowing up of a structure in retaliation to an attack.
In the dawn hours of Tuesday, the Israeli army also raided a home in Jericho belonging to the Tamimi clan. That raid failed to produce Udai.
At least ten Palestinians, including Udai's brother, have been arrested following the shooting attack. On the night of the attack, the Israeli army raided the Tamimi family home in the Shuafat refugee camp and took in Udai's father and mother for questioning. They have been released since.
Amjad Abu Asab, an advocate for the rights of Palestinian prisoners, expects the detention campaign to widen as Israel intensifies the search for Udai Tamimi.
'A big blow'
Saturday's shooting attack is seen as a "big blow" to the Israeli army in light of the technological advances and sophisticated surveillance systems installed in checkpoints and throughout.
It has smashed their calculations," Abu Asab told TNA.
Tensions rose higher still in the occupied Palestinian territories. On Tuesday, an Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting attack near Deir Sharaf in the occupied West Bank.
Also on Tuesday, the Awqaf Council announced that more than a thousand and five hundred Israelis "broke" into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Palestinians see Jewish visits to the Muslim holy site as a provocation which often leads to clashes.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the war of June 1967. Shortly after the war, it annexed the City, but most countries regard East Jerusalem as occupied territory.
Palestinians make up around forty per cent of the City's population and are issued Israeli IDs, which in their case, are equivalent to a right to residency. However, they are not entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship.