Israeli Occupation Forces massacre nine Palestinians in Jenin Refugee Camp

The massacre has been labeled “the largest and most extensive since 2002.” IOF reportedly prevented ambulances from reaching wounded

January 26, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Image: Wafa News

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Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) raided the Jenin Refugee Camp on the morning of January 26, killing at least nine people and wounding at least 20. Two children were killed by Israeli soldiers in the raid in addition to Izz al-Din Salahat, age 26, Saeb Azriqi, age 24, and Magda Obaid, age 60. Six of the victims were fatally shot, one died after an IOF military jeep crushed his skull, and two were burned alive by rockets.

According to The Freedom Theater, a community theater center based in the Jenin refugee camp, the IOF destroyed the Jenin Youth Center as well as the monument to martyr Dawood Zubaidi.

Wissam Baker, head of the Jenin public hospital, told Al Jazeera that the IOF prevented ambulances from reaching the victims. “The ambulance driver tried to get to one of the martyrs who was on the floor, but the Israeli forces shot directly at the ambulance and prevented them from approaching him,” Baker said. Baker also claims that the IOF fired tear gas at the children’s division of the hospital, causing suffocation injuries to the children and others. The IOF denies deliberately firing tear gas at the hospital, but concedes it is possible tear gas entered the building “through an open window.”

Hamas has denounced the massacre and urged Gazans to take to the streets in protest, saying that the “response of the resistance will not be delayed.” Israel has attempted to justify the killings by claiming that the IOF was attempting to detain those suspected of plotting and carrying out “multiple major terror attacks,” and that some victims were shot only after opening fire.

Fatah and other Palestinian organizations have called for Palestinians to observe a general strike.

The Freedom Theatre characterized this attack as “the largest and most extensive since 2002,” when Israeli forces attacked the camp in the Battle of Jenin, during the Second Intifada. Since its inception over 70 years ago, the camp has been the target of numerous IOF attacks. Shireen Abu Akleh, world-renowned Palestinian-American journalist, was killed by the IOF while covering a raid in Jenin last May. Throughout Palestine, over 170 people were killed in raids in 2022—most civilians. In January 2023 alone, Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in raids, 15 of those from Jenin.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, stated, “I am deeply alarmed and saddened by the continuing cycle of violence in the occupied West Bank…Since the beginning of this year, we are continuing to witness high levels of violence and other negative trends that characterized 2022. It is crucial to reduce tensions immediately and prevent more loss of life.”