Three killed in strike against PLC member’s residence

PLC member Jamila Shanti (MaanImages)

Five Palestinians were killed on Tuesday morning, including two in an armed clash between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters. The other three were killed in an air strike that targeted the house of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Jamila Shanti in Jabalia refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. She survived, but her sister-in-law was killed.

Medical sources said that the medical crews were finally able to reach the bodies of Hamdi Batsh and Raed Qarm after seven hours of obstruction by the Israeli troops who prevented anybody approach the dead bodies. Batsh and Qarm were killed in an armed clash with the Israeli soldiers.

Al Quds Brigades spokesman Abu Ahmad told Ma’an via telephone that the men were members in his brigades, who are affiliated with Islamic Jihad. He said that they were killed in an armed clash with the Israeli forces in the Atatra area of Beit Hanoun. He said that one of them was injured, and the other was killed in the clash but the Israeli forces forbade Palestinians to approach them to provide timely medical assistance.

The medical sources added that Abdul Majid Gharabawi, Mahmoud Abu Habil and Nahlah Shanti were killed in an air strike on Tuesday at 9.30am. It appeared that the air strike targeted Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Jamila Shanti. She survived the attack, but her sister-in-law, Nahlah Shanti, was killed.

Media sources close to Hamas said that the men, Abdul Majid Gharabawi and Mahmoud Abu Habil, were members of the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and they were guards of the PLC member Jamila Shanti.

Ma’an met Jamila Shanti on her way to the hospital to see the body of her brother’s sister, Nahlah Shanti, who leaves eight children without a mother.

The female PLC member, Jamila Shanti, is 49 years old and she was born in Jabalia refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. She was elected to the legislative council in the last elections to represent Hamas.

Jamila Shanti told Ma’an, “We tell the Israelis that we will not kneel. The Palestinian people will stay united behind the resistance and we will continue calling for freedom and dignity with our fingers on the trigger”. She added, “We thank God for this and for choosing the Palestinians to defend the Arabs and Muslims’ dignity”.

The PLC member also said that her deceased sister-in-law had been “calling and praying to be a martyr”.

Shanti is one of three female Hamas members from the Gaza Strip who represent their neighbourhoods in the PLC. She is also a member of the political bureau of the Hamas movement.

She told Ma’an that her family are refugees from the 1948 city of Majdal - now the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. She is not married. She studied psychology at the Islamic university in Gaza and worked in Saudi Arabia as a teacher for seven years. She has five brothers and sisters.

She said, “I am proud to be the third on Hamas’ election list. I have lived the Palestinian suffering and spent my life as a refugee”. She added, “My message to the society is that we have to differentiate between the traditions and the religion. We as women should be under the tent of Islam, but we are supposed to work and play an important role. Ten years ago that was not possible in the Strip”.

The Israeli forces have partially withdrawn from Beit Hanoun after a six-day incursion that left 57 Palestinians dead and over 290 injured.

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