RAMALLAH: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man, wounded three and arrested 16 in the flashpoint West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday.
A large number of Israeli troops carried out raids in the city and its refugee camp at dawn, with snipers deployed on rooftops. Violent clashes broke out between young men and the soldiers, who responded by firing live rounds, killing Ahmed Massad, 21.
Jani Abu Jokha, the director of Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, said Massad died of a bullet wound to the head, and that three other people were moderately wounded.
More than a thousand people gathered for Massad’s funeral in Burqin. Masked gunmen fired shots into the air as his body was taken from his family home. Mourners chanted slogans, vowing to continue the struggle against Israeli atrocities and calling for national unity and an end to divisions so that the Palestinian people can confront the terrorism and crimes of the occupying forces. They also denounced the silence of the international community about the killing and arrest of Palestinians.
Tariq Salmi, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Movement, said: “The ‘Jenin Brigade’ valiantly responded to the attempt to storm the Jenin camp. The unity and steadfastness of our people is an impenetrable wall and a guarantee to keep our cause alive through jihad and resistance.
“The arrest campaigns will not break the resolve of our people. It will neither discourage the resistance nor will it besiege it.”
Palestinian security sources said the Israeli army arrested three civilians at the Jenin camp after raiding and searching their homes. At the same time, Israeli forces raided several homes in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, where they reportedly arrested three civilians and damaged property.
The sources said they expect Israeli operations against the Jenin refugee camp to escalate after Ramadan ends. It comes as Palestinians in the West Bank prepare to celebrate Lailat Al-Qadr, or The Night of Power, a special evening of prayer toward the end of Ramadan at mosques across the West Bank, and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in particular.
Al-Aqsa was the scene of violent confrontations between Muslim worshipers and Israeli police during the Hebrew feast of Passover that left hundreds of people injured. Israeli incursions at the site during Ramadan were condemned by Arab and regional authorities.
There have been heightened tensions between Palestinian youths and the Israeli police during Ramadan elsewhere in East Jerusalem, especially in the Damascus Gate area.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Temple Organizations Headquarters Authority called on Wednesday for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 5, Israel’s independence day.