Israeli assault on Jenin enters third day, kills ten

Members of the Baajawi family inspect on 13 December their home, damaged the night before during an Israeli army raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

A large-scale, lethal Israeli raid on the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin and its refugee camp entered its third day on Thursday.

In a propaganda release, the Israeli military asserted that it started the raid in the early hours Tuesday, alongside the Shin Bet and other forces working under the command of the Menasha Division, a subgroup of the Israeli army active during the first and second intifadas that focuses on the northern occupied West Bank cities of Jenin and Tulkarm.

The Israeli military operation is still ongoing at the time of this writing.

At least 10 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli attack and a number of others were wounded as Israeli forces continued aerial attacks in the Jenin refugee camp, destroying infrastructure and shooting at Palestinians.

Israeli forces have raided homes, in some cases using them as military bases, and arrested Palestinians.

The Israeli army also besieged the eastern part of the city, blocking entrances and roads with armored vehicles and bulldozers.

Four Palestinians were killed when the Israeli army carried out a drone strike in al-Sibat neighborhood in the city of Jenin on Tuesday, including a child.

The Israeli army shared footage of the drone strike on Twitter/X, saying it had identified “a squad” that fired at its forces and in turn struck the group from an Israeli aircraft, killing “a number of terrorists,” but ignoring the death of a child.

The video appears to show someone hurling something against the occupying forces, allegedly an explosive, though it’s not clear if that was one of the people targeted in the strike:

The missile killed 17-year-old Thaer Shadi Tabaji.

He had been standing with three Palestinians, who were armed, when the Israeli occupying force fired the missile that killed all four, according to a field investigation by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Thaer had shrapnel wounds and burns all over his body, DCIP said.

Israeli forces also fired Energa anti-tank rifle grenades at several homes in Jenin and its refugee camp, causing massive damage and destruction. Wafa news agency reported the damage, citing security and local sources.

The news agency reported that civil workers were barred from reaching the homes that caught fire in the camp.

At least one home was completely destroyed when it was bombed, DCIP said.

Israeli drone strikes in the occupied West Bank have killed 10 Palestinian children in 2023, while Israel has used a US-made Apache helicopter to fire missiles that killed four children. An Israeli warplane airstrike killed one additional child in the West Bank during that time.

Israeli troops besieged the city’s three main hospitals, blocking ambulances from reaching them.

Israeli forces also impeded the movement of paramedics and carried out full searches of ambulances during the raid on Wednesday morning.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it had been receiving calls for medical help but ambulance crews have been unable to reach destinations due to the Israeli army’s ongoing obstructionism that comes despite “prior coordination.”

The medical group reported “a severe shortage of baby milk and bread” for dozens of Palestinians whose homes are still occupied by Israeli military personnel who are preventing them from leaving.

Smoke rises from a building during an Israeli raid on Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank on 13 December.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Two additional Palestinians died after Israel impeded access to medical care and hospitalization during the raid, including for a Palestinian man who had been injured with a bullet in his thigh, as well as a 13-year-old boy who had been ill.

Ahmad Muhammad Sammar had been ill at home. His father tried to get him to the Jenin governmental hospital, but the Israeli military raid forced him to reroute multiple times.

“When Ahmad and his father were about 500 meters (1640 feet) from the hospital, Israeli forces stopped the car and forced both of them to exit. Ahmad’s father carried him on foot to the hospital and arrived around 10:30 am, when doctors pronounced him dead.”

The impunity with which Israel attacks hospitals in the Gaza Strip seems to have set a precedent that extends to the occupied West Bank as well. The Israeli army now routinely hinders Palestinian access to medical facilities and even attacks hospitals during its raids in the West Bank.

Further footage shows an Israeli armored vehicle advancing towards journalists covering the raid even as they try to walk away:

Israeli troops raided a mosque in Jenin during the campaign.

Occupation forces also raided the Freedom Theater and opened fire. Israeli soldiers destroyed offices, knocking down a wall between an office and a neighbor’s home.

“For hours the Israelis sat in the offices, as sounds of hammering and shooting could be heard,” the theater said. After raiding and causing damage in the theater, the army arrested the artistic director and the producer.

“Israeli military bulldozers destroyed civilian infrastructure in Jenin refugee camp and several neighborhoods throughout the city,” DCIP said.
The Israeli army also claimed to have uncovered weapons buried under roads during the raid.

The occupying military also claims to have arrested hundreds of Palestinians during the operation, raided hundreds of buildings and confiscated weapons.

Local media circulated footage of what appears to be mass arrests of Palestinians:

The Israeli army admitted that at least four of its soldiers had been injured by shrapnel they claimed were from explosives, as well as injuries due to their own fire.

Footage was circulated by local media showing what appears to be an Israeli soldier getting shot in the leg:

Child shot in head

Israeli forces killed six Palestinians during a military raid in Fara refugee camp near Tubas last week.

Israeli special forces snuck into the Fara refugee camp in vehicles bearing Palestinian license plates.

Israeli snipers then took up positions on the rooftop of a health center managed by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, while Israeli troops raided people’s homes and detained Palestinians.

Residents of the camp detected the presence of the undercover occupying force shortly after, and armed Palestinians resisted the Israeli invasion as confrontations ensued.

More Israeli forces – 15 armored vehicles and an army bulldozer – arrived at the camp and forces cordoned it off.

Maher Abdullah Jawabra, 14, was standing on his cousin’s rooftop with his cousin and a friend when an Israeli sniper on the UNRWA-managed health facility building opened fire at them, injuring the teen and his cousin.

Israeli forces held Palestinian ambulances “at gunpoint and prevented them from providing aid” for more than an hour, according to a field investigation by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Maher and his cousin were eventually rushed to a nearby hospital when Israeli forces withdrew from the camp, but they were both declared dead on arrival.

Seventy Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since 7 October, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 110 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank so far in 2023.

Footage from the same raid in Fara depicts the moment Israeli forces shoot a Palestinian man, and then shoot him again as he lies on the ground incapacitated.

This video shows Rami al-Aboushi running away when he is apparently hit with a bullet and lies incapacitated and injured on the ground, moving slightly.

An Israeli armored vehicle then approaches al-Aboushi as he lies on the ground and parks in close proximity to him. An Israeli soldier opens the door of the vehicle and shoots at al-Aboushi, killing him.

Deadliest year

As 2023 concludes, this year stands as the deadliest for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the UN monitoring office began recording such data in 2005.

Since 7 October, when Israel launched a campaign of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip following a military operation by Palestinian resistance organization Hamas against Israeli prison guards along the boundary and in southern Israeli colonies – territory from which Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 – the occupation military has intensified its deadly attacks on Palestinians and their armed resistance in the West Bank.

Israel has been routinely conducting prolonged military raids in towns, cities and refugee camps across the West Bank, particularly in the north. Israeli military raids often include highly destructive attacks on infrastructure, with Israeli bulldozers damaging water, roads and electricity structures, leading to widespread damage of streets, homes and commercial areas in those places.

The Israeli army has also been conducting aerial attacks in the occupied West Bank, a practice it revived from the second intifada two decades ago.

Israeli troops have killed more than 260 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 7 October, and an additional eight were killed by settlers, the UN monitoring group OCHA has reported.

This constitutes more than half of all Israeli killings in the area since the beginning of the year.

Israeli forces have injured nearly 3,500 Palestinians in the West Bank since 7 October, more than 540 of them children.

Despite lethal raids and intensified attacks by Israeli forces in the West Bank, armed resistance remains unabated and unquelled, with two new armed resistance groups forming in Tulkarm in less than a year.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.