This Week In Occupied Palestine (27/01/2023)
Israeli occupation forces continued violent raids throughout the week, invading the Jenin refugee camp and committing the largest massacre of Palestinians there since the early 2000's.
So far this year, Israel has killed 31 Palestinians, more than one per day, and committed the largest massacre inside the West Bank since at least 2005. Israeli forces bombarded Gaza, ordered that medical workers and journalists can no longer enter zones they raid, killed 10 Palestinians in one day and Israeli settlers raised their flag at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp carry the bodies of those killed in the Jenin massacre (Source: Shehab Agency)
Tensions dramatically escalated this week as Israeli occupation forces murdered Palestinian civilians, including an unarmed child and elderly woman, in a gruesome way. The violations of the status quo continued at the al-Aqsa Mosque and has sparked fears of what may come in the near future and the possibility of a new war with the Gaza Strip. Israeli violations of the Lebanese border also continued to provoke the deployment of the Lebanese army to the area, as demonstrations against Israeli warcrimes spread to neighbouring Jordan and Syria. The Palestinian Authority (PA) also decided to suspend security coordination with the Israeli occupation forces.
This week in occupied Palestine…
On Saturday, Tariq Odeh Youssef Ma'ali (42-years-old) was killed after he was reportedly shot by an Israeli settler, at Jabal Al-Raisan (near Kafr Nima village), located northwest of Ramallah. Tariq was accused of trying to attack settlers, that had invaded the area, with a screwdriver, yet the provocation of armed settlers with the intention of seizing property was never examined, instead the narrative was spun by Israel that a Palestinian who was minding their own business on their land and was harassed, was a “terrorist” for trying to attack invading settlers with a screwdriver.
The occupation forces also forced Hussein Qanbar to demolish his own house in the Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem.
The International Court of Justice confirmed that it had officially received a request from the General Assembly of the United Nations to express an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation. The occupation forces also stormed the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem and fired tear gas canisters at the residents. The Israeli occupation forces fired live bullets at youths after they failed to remove the Palestinian flags and clashes erupted in the village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah.
Around 110,000 Israeli Zionist protesters demonstrated against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Settlers, under the protection of the occupation police, stormed al-Samrin neighbourhood in the town of Silwan, located south of al-Aqsa Mosque, and threatened the residents of the neighbourhood. Israel’s security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir demanded later that day that the village of Khan al-Ahmar be destroyed and the people displaced. Palestinians demonstrated in Bethlehem, Qalqilya, al-Khalil and the Lions Den group carry out a shooting at an Israeli checkpoint near Nablus.
On Sunday, Illegal Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. For the second time, the occupation forces demolished the house of Ismail Salah, from Al-Khader town, along with two residential rooms, south of Bethlehem. The Occupation Prisons Administration transferred 70 prisoners from Ramon Prison to Gilboa Prison.
The Lebanese army mobilised its forces, after the Israeli occupation forces advanced towards the southern border fence, to prevent any breach of the ‘Blue Line’ in the Wadi Hounin area. This exacerbated tensions that were caused by Israeli provocations last week, when Israeli forces violated the border repeatedly and were confronted by the Lebanese army.
A shooting attack was carried out towards settler-houses in the "Kiryat Arba" settlement in Hebron. Settlers stormed the outskirts of Jureesh village, south of Nablus, under the protection of the occupation forces, settlers also tried to re-build the "Ur Haim" outpost in the northern West Bank, which was evacuated last Friday due to orders by the Israeli border police .
The occupation army later confiscated an agricultural tractor in the Ras al-Ahmar area in the northern Jordan Valley and following that resistance fighters opened fire against the illegal settlement of “Shaked”, built on the stolen lands of Western Jenin. The Lions Den announced they targeted Israeli military forces in the Hawara town area and withdrew safely.
On Monday, the occupation forces arrested about 15 citizens in the morning, during the storming of several cities and villages in the occupied West Bank. The occupation forces carried out demolitions of Palestinian properties between the town of al-Issawiya and the Al-Khan al-Ahmar community in occupied Jerusalem.
Extremist Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque compound to perform Jewish rituals and held up the Israeli flag inside the Mosque’s grounds in an openly provocative move.
A soldier from the occupation army was wounded in the Nur Shams area in Tulkarm, after gunmen opened fire on a car the soldier was traveling in. Israeli militarised vehicles and settlers continued digging and bulldozing the lands of Hamra, which was seized by settlers in Silwan and belongs the Palestinians under international law.
Israeli fighter jets carried out mock raids over the sea of Gaza, causing confusion amongst residents of the besieged coastal enclave. Members of the Lebanese armed forces also remove barbed wire that was put in place by the Israeli military, in an area that passed the border into Lebanon’s territory. The PA’s Preventative Security Service kidnapped Mr. Ali Muhammad Khreyoush from the town of Tamoun, in Tubas.
A total of 8 shooting attacks and 27 acts of resistance were recorded within a 24 hour period, carried out by the Palestinian resistance groups and youths who threw molotov cocktails and stones.
On Tuesday, Saleh Abdel-Latif Abu Al-Rub, 68, from the village of Jalboun, died of a heart attack while passing through Al-Jalama checkpoint, north of Jenin. Israeli settlers again stormed al-Aqsa mosque and later in the day Israel’s national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, announced his intention to enter the compound again.
For the 212th time, the Israeli occupation forces demolished the village of al-Araqib in the occupied Naqab (Negev). An Israeli bulldozer, accompanied by a Merkava tank ran a limited incursion, from Al-Sarhi Gate that is located to the east of Deir Al-Balah, into the Gaza Strip. Israel also began to accuse Hezbollah of building tall watchtowers on the Lebanese side of the border, in addition to complaining about Lebanese citizens using laser pointers to harass settlers. Israel alleges that this is a violation of UN Resolution 1701, which was implemented to end the Lebanon-Israel war in 2006 and which Tel Aviv violates on a near daily basis. The Lebanese army was again deployed to the border to stop an Israeli Merkava tank from crossing the ‘blue line’.
Israel again carried out mock raids over the besieged Gaza Strip, in an attempt to wage psychological-warfare against the people of Gaza. The armed resistance groups in Gaza later carried out rocket tests towards the sea in order to develop the capabilities of their munitions. Israeli occupation police forces arrested 11 Palestinian minors between the ages of 13 and 17, in occupied East Jerusalem. Occupation forces also prevented restoration efforts from taking place in the old city of al-Khalil.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a surprise visit to Amman in order to hold a meeting with the Hashemite ruler of Jordan, King Abdullah II. 21 acts of resistance were additionally recorded on Tuesday, including a number of shootings toward Israeli military checkpoints. Two Palestinians were severely injured and transported to hospital in Jenin, after an Israeli military jeep deliberately rammed into them, during an incursion into the West Bank city.
Illegal Israeli settlers, under heavy military protection, stormed the Awarta area in Nablus in order to provoke Palestinian civilians there and the occupation army declared that both journalists and medical workers are no longer allowed to enter areas that the military storms. This announcement by the Israeli army prevents documentation of their crimes and stops medical workers from reaching injured Palestinians, essentially leaving them to die or suffer without medical attention. Palestinian civilians have had to use their own cars in order to transport injured Palestinians to hospitals in Jenin, after Israeli occupation forces opened fire on ambulances and prevented them from attending to the injured.
On Wednesday, Israeli settlers again stormed al-Aqsa Mosque. Dozens of Israeli occupation police forces also stormed al-Aqsa and posed for photographs. At least 300 Israeli troops stormed the Shuafat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, attacked Palestinians who protested against them and demolished the family home of Udai Tamimi, who carried out two commando operations that killed an Israeli soldier and injured others. Destroying the homes of Palestinians who commit attacks against their occupiers is an act of collective punishment and is a violation of international law.
During the incursion into Shuafat refugee camp, a teenage Palestinian boy named Zain Aref Salameh was shot by Israeli forces and was initially prevented from receiving medical attention whilst Israeli forces searched his body. The soldiers present even assaulted medical workers who were attempting to transport the wounded teenager to hospital. Later on, an Israeli soldier killed an unarmed Palestinian, 17-year-old Salah Ali, shooting the boy in the back as he ran away from a group of occupation forces, for this murder, the soldier responsible was given an honorary award by national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who called him a “hero” for killing a “terrorist”.
The occupation forces later that morning demolished an agricultural room in the town of Nahalin in Bethlehem. Israeli forces then shot dead a twenty year old Palestinian, named Aref Lahlouh, who they accused of trying to attack Israeli soldiers with a knife, video footage seemed to show the Palestinian man running towards the soldiers after his car was stopped.
Palestinians came to the streets to demonstrate in a number of areas in occupied East Jerusalem, including in Silwan, al-Issawiya and the Shuafat refugee camp, a number of Palestinian youths were shot and injured as a result. After Israeli forces stormed the outskirts of Nablus, armed Palestinian gunmen opened fire against their military vehicles.
On Thursday, Israeli occupation forces stormed Jenin refugee camp, after a special forces team was discovered to have entered the camp undercover. A firefight between the Jenin Brigades armed group and Israeli special forces ensued. Before long tens of military vehicles, carrying border police, regular infantry and special forces units stormed the refugee camp. The tactics used were brutal, as Israel prevented ambulances from helping the injured and even fired tear gas into a local government hospital that was treating Palestinians. Israel murdered a total of 9 Palestinians in the most violent operation that they have committed in the West Bank since at least 2005. Several were also left wounded and are still being treated for their injuries. Three of the 9 killed were not affiliated to any armed group, one of which was a 61-year-old woman that was shot twice in the throat and once in the chest. Another Palestinian was shot and left to bleed out onto the road, when an Israeli military jeep was used to run over his head and crush his skull, whilst ‘Energa’ anti-tank munitions were used to target a building, burning alive to Palestinian fighters that were part of the Jenin Brigades.
The reported goal of the Israeli raid was to arrest a leader of the Burkin subgroup of the Jenin Brigades, named Ziad Sabbagh. Sabbagh is the son of a prominent commander named Ala' Sabbagh, who led the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (unofficial armed wing of Fatah) during the Second Intifada and was killed by Israeli forces. Ziad Sabbagh managed to escape the building in which two other members of his armed group were incinerated, but was captured and beaten after trying to run away.
Later that day the reaction in the West Bank came in the form of countless protests throughout the occupied territory, even spreading to occupied East Jerusalem and demonstrations took place in the Gaza Strip against the massacre. Demonstrations in Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm were all organized by Palestinian citizens of Israel also.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it was going to suspend security coordination with the Israeli military and was urged to not do so by a UN delegation that warned of “consequences”. 13-year-old Nayef Al-Aweidat, who was severely injured in Israel’s bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, last August, died of their wounds.
Israeli occupation forces later shot Youssef Yahya Muhaisen (22-years-old) dead, whilst he participated in a demonstration in front of the Beti El settlement that is located in the Ramallah area. The Palestinian armed factions in al-Khalil, Nablus and Jenin, all opened fire towards Israeli military checkpoints and watchtowers.
Israeli fascist settlers began a march in occupied Jerusalem, chanting “death to Arabs”, cursing the Prophet of Islam and urging the Netanyahu government to kill more Palestinians. The protest was scheduled to go through the Arab quarter of occupied Jerusalem’s old city, stopping at the Damascus Gate, however, the path was changed by the Israeli authorities fearing an escalation inside the city. Nevertheless, Palestinian youths were attacked by settlers, causing fights in the streets.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement, then fired two rockets at Asqalan, triggering the fire of Israeli air defence missiles, this came as a response to the massacre in Jenin.
On Friday, in the earlier hours of the morning Israel launched 15 missiles into a site located in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, causing damage to the homes of residents living nearby. Israel claims it hit an underground rocket manufacturing facility, when in reality it hit a well known open training area for the al-Qassam brigades of Hamas. As Israel was striking, the al-Qassam brigades fired domestically made surface-to-air missiles at the attacking fighter jets. Two separate salvos of rockets were then fired at Israel, none of which did any damage. Israel proceeded to bombard another open area near Beit Lahia.
Large numbers of Palestinian worshippers showed up at al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers, roughly numbering at 60,000, organizing a protest against the massacre in Jenin. Protests also took place in the West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem throughout the day, around 100 Palestinians in the West Bank sustained injuries.
Demonstrations additionally took place in Haifa, Umm al-Fahm and in southern Damascus, in Syria, as well as in the Jordanian capital, Amman, in denunciation of the massacre committed in Jenin. Armed Palestinian resistance factions in the West Bank also carried out attacks against Israeli forces in the following areas at night: Beit Furik (East of Nablus), Ofer military camp (South of Ramallah), UAV’s were fired upon in Jenin Refugee Camp, Qabatyah and Jab’a, Dolev Settlement (West of Ramallah), Alon Moreh Settlement (East of Nablus), Huwarrah checkpoint (South of Nablus), they also opened fire upon a military Jeep near Jaba’, (North of occupied Jerusalem).
So far this year, at least 31 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces, 14 of which were martyred this week. Thousands have been injured and/or arrested, with tens of Palestinians suffering serious gunshot injuries that keep them in hospital care.
As a note on this series of articles, each piece focuses on the key events of each day during the past week and is heavily focused, as a result, on the Gaza Strip and West Bank. There are various other developments that are taking place on a daily basis, throughout occupied Palestine, that are too numerous to include. However, these are the highlights from each day and hopefully work to give you a more in depth picture of what shapes the lives of Palestinians under occupation.
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