At least 10 Palestinians were killed Thursday during an Israeli raid at the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian health ministry, nine Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces, including an elderly woman, and at least 20 others were seriously wounded. At least four people were in critical condition.
It was reported that a commercial truck was used by heavily armed Israeli forces to enter the camp. The occupying forces opened fire as soon as residents began attempting to block their entry. In addition, a building residents regularly used for meetings was targeted by several other Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers.
A Palestinian correspondent with a local Jenin channel reported that the scenes from Thursday’s raid on the camp reminded him of the Second Intifada in 2002. He told the Middle East Eye, “The sounds of bullets and gunfights were intense, and clouds of smoke covered the sky.”
“The Israeli occupation cut off the electricity, the Internet and the cell phone network during the storming,” he continued. “This shows that it was planned.”
An alarm was sounded by Palestinians in the camp at 7:05 a.m. when an undercover Israeli unit was spotted in a civilian vehicle approaching the entrance of the camp, not far from Jurat Adhab.
“There was an exchange of fire between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli soldiers, and then more forces were pushed into the camp,” the correspondent said. “Tens of military vehicles laid a siege around the area.”
According to him, Israeli forces claim that only fighters were targeted. They had supposedly barricaded themselves in a house in the Jenin camp.
“But that is their story,” the correspondent continued. “We are all civilians, and what happened today was a defense of the camp.”
Israel will pay the price for the massacre it committed in Jenin and its refugee camp. The will of the Palestinian people is stronger than the crimes of the occupation. – Saleh Arouri, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau
His report with Middle East Eye says a house was demolished by Israeli forces that belonged to Alaa al-Sabbagh, a senior Fatah member of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades who was killed in Jenin by a helicopter missile in 2002.
Following what the office of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls “a massacre from the Israeli occupation government, in the shadow of international silence”, the Palestinian Authority announced a decision to halt security coordination with Israel.
The announcement followed an emergency meeting in Ramallah of the Palestinian leadership. The meeting was held for discussions on the repercussions of the Israeli raid.
“The security coordination with the Israeli occupation government is no longer existent as of now,” Palestinian Authority presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh said. He accused Israeli forces of committing a “massacre” against the Palestinian people.
Abu Rudaineh said Israeli security forces killed more than 30 Palestinians in January. He saluted members of the Palestinian security forces for their “honorable positions in defending the Palestinian national enterprise and the interests of the Palestinians.”
Along with ending security coordination with Israel, the Palestinian leadership is asking the United Nations Security Council for international protection for Palestinians.
PA President Abbas is calling on all Palestinian factions to meet and agree on a “comprehensive national vision and unity to confront the Israeli aggression.”
Several Palestinian officials joined Abu Rudaineh in denouncing the international community for being silent on the Israeli “massacre” in the Jenin camp.
“The international powerlessness and silence are what encourages the occupation government to commit massacres against our people,” Abu Rudaineh said in a statement. “Our people will remain steadfast and won’t give up Jerusalem and the holy sites, no matter what crimes and massacres the occupation forces commit.”
Palestinians were urged by the Fatah faction to “confront the occupation and its barbaric aggression.”
The deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, Saleh Arouri, said in a statement that Israel “will pay the price for the massacre it committed in Jenin and its refugee camp. The will of the Palestinian people is stronger than the crimes of the occupation.”