British citizen and Palestinian child killed in Jenin

On Friday, November 22, Israeli forces attacked Jenin refugee camp, killed a Palestinian child and British engineer Ian Hook (50).

According to information gathered by LAW, at around 8:45am Friday, Israeli forces reinforced by tens of tanks, APCs and jeeps entered Jenin and its refugee camp. They entered the middle of the refugee camp from the direction of Burqeen St, to the al-Zahra area in the city.

The incursion was accompanied by indiscriminate fire in the direction of streets, houses, buildings and civilians without distinction. At around 10am, Israeli forces surrounded the home of Ibrahim Naghnineh, on the pretext that he was hiding Palestinians ‘wanted’ by Israel. Several Israeli snipers settled upon several neighboring roofs and began shooting at Naghnineh’s house, and in the direction of any moving body in the area, causing many people to flee.

Naghnineh’s son Nidal (28) and Abdullah al-Wahsh (20) were arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

Following this, a military bulldozer demolished the 3-story house, where six families lived. A number of children turned up and began to throw stones at the Israeli forces, who opened live fire at them, killing Mohammad Bilalweh (12), shot in his left eye. Eyewitnesses stated to LAW that the child was killed from a distance of around a hundred meters from the forces. Three other children were injured: Jaber Hassan (12), shot in the chest; Zakariyya Sirhan (13), shrapnel in the back; Amjad Omar (12), shot in the left foot.

Israeli forces continued to shoot even after Mohammad Bilalweh (12) was killed, injuring an Irish volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent, Caoimhe Butterly (25), who was shot in the left leg as she attempted to assist the injured.

In the afternoon, Israeli forces began to shoot indiscriminately again within the refugee camp, reaching the UNRWA building (United Nations Relief Works Agency). Employees in the building were unable to leave due to the heavy shooting.

Ian Hook, who worked in UNRWA as the director of a project to rebuild the Jenin refuge camp exited the building at around 1:30pm, warning the Israeli forces of the danger of shooting at the employees, asking to facilitate their exit and ensure their safety.

An eyewitness stated that Hook exited the office, which overlooked snipers, raising the flag of the UN. He stood in front of the entrance of the office and asked the Israeli forces, including the sniper upon the roof of an eyewitness, to stop shooting.

They did not heed his request, and opened fire upon him from a distance of around 20 meters, despite the clarity of the UN flag he was holding up to them.

Hook was shot in his stomach and fell to the ground. Several employees ran to attempt to resuscitate him. However the forces forbade anybody from nearing the body. They also forbade ambulances from nearing Hooks. Following this, several people in the building made a hold in the outer gate/wall of the building on the southern side, and after half an hour were able to reach the body. Hooks was taken to the governmental Dr. Khalil Suleiman hospital in Jenin. He died on the way.

According to the medical report issued by the above hospital, Hook was shot in the left side of his stomach, exiting from the right side of his lower back. He also appeared to be injured in left side of his waist, which led to severe internal bleeding. There was also shrapnel in his body.

After Hook’s killing, Israeli spokespeople attempted to blame armed Palestinians for the killing, with accusations of heavy armed shooting between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the time of his killing, saying that Hook had appeared with a mobile phone, Israeli forces mistakenly killed him thinking he was a Palestinian combatant.