Thousands of Palestinians mourn two youths killed by Israeli forces in Jenin

Thousands of Palestinians mourn two youths killed by Israeli forces in Jenin
Yazid Saadi, 23, and teenager Sanad Abu Atiyah were killed in an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp on Thursday morning.
5 min read
West Bank
01 April, 2022
The Israeli army frequently raids Jenin refugee camp [Getty]

Thousands of Palestinians took part on Thursday in the funerals of two youths killed by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp.

The victims, 23-year-old Yazid Al-Saadi from Jenin city and 17-year-old Sanad Abu Atiyah, were killed in an Israeli raid on the refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Thursday morning. Fourteen others were wounded in the raid.

“Israeli forces entered the camp in the morning in large numbers and clashed with the youth who threw stones at them”, Atta Abu Rmeileh, secretary for the Palestinian faction Fatah at the camp, told The New Arab.

“Shortly after the raid began, armed fighters in the camp clashed with Israeli troops, who opened fire indiscriminately”, he added.

During the raid, Israeli forces fired such large volumes of tear gas that the chemicals seeped into the government-run hospital beside the refugee camp.

“Tear gas entered through the windows and reached the dialysis section and the baby incubator section as well”, Dr. Wesam Abu Baker, director of the hospital, told The New Arab.

“There were some cases of breathing difficulties among our staff, who also noted that babies' oxygen levels had decreased,” Abu Baker noted.

“We immediately moved the incubators to another section, and it all ended without major harm, thankfully,” he added.

Israeli media said that the two Palestinians killed in Jenin were armed militants. Abu Rmeileh denied the reports.

“The majority of those who were wounded, except one, didn’t even have any known precedents of militancy and had never had problems with the occupation”, said Abu Rmeileh. “Most of them are youngsters throwing stones, like Sanad Atiyah who was killed”.

“Sanad was only a teenager, he didn’t have any political affiliation”, Shatha Hanaysheh, a young journalist from Jenin who knew Abu Atiyah, told The New Arab.

“He was a simple, always-smiling boy who had dropped out of school to help his family by working in a bakery, and when he wasn’t working he spent his time with his friends in the streets of the camp”, she said. “His only political activity was when he spontaneously joined marches that happened in the camp for whatever reason”.

Abu Atiyah’s father told Palestinian media that his son “was beside me at home when clashes began".

"I told him not to go out and he didn’t, but when I moved to another room for a few minutes, he left.”

A video circulated on social media showing a teenager throwing stones at an Israeli military jeep. Sources confirmed that it was Sanad Abu Atiyah.

Yazid Saadi, the second Palestinian killed, was the owner of a street stall in Jenin city.

“He was a close friend of Nour Jarrar, who was killed by Israeli forces last year,” said Hanaysheh.

Nour Jarrar was killed in an armed confrontation with Israeli forces raiding the Jenin refugee camp in August 2021. The Al-Quds Brigades - the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) - mourned his death as the loss of a comrade.

The 'Jenin Brigade', which forms part of the Al-Quds Brigades, said in a statement that the Israeli raid had tried but failed to capture Palestinian fighters. The brigade said that two of its fighters and one Israeli soldier were wounded in the raid.

Israel's army said one of its soldiers was wounded in the clashes, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli army also said that the raid involved hundreds of soldiers, as part of a larger Israeli arrest campaign.

Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the Israeli raid and the two killings, calling them “a new episode of Israeli crimes against our people”.

Israel was “fully responsible for the consequences of its violations”, he said.

The raid came two days after a Palestinian killed five Israelis in the Bnei Brak suburb of Tel Aviv. The attacker, from the village of Yaabad, west of Jenin, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli police.

The Jenin area has been the frequent target of Israeli raids and military operations in recent months.