Israeli occupation forces kill at least five Palestinians in a refugee camp in Jericho

Jericho is facing its second week of siege. Israeli forces have killed over 40 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the year

February 06, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Israeli raid Jericho, Palestine
(Photo: QNN/Twitter)

At least five Palestinians were killed on Monday, January 6, in an Israeli raid on Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in Jericho in the occupied West Bank, Times of Israel reported. The Israeli armed forces also arrested senior Hamas leader Shaker Amara from near the refugee camp. 

Some sources claim that the number of Palestinians killed in the Jericho raid on Monday could be as high as seven. The Palestinians were killed in an apartment that was surrounded by the Israeli forces. 

The Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have not confirmed the deaths yet. According to a Wafa report, both the agencies reported six Palestinians injured due to the Israeli raid in the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp. PRCS also claimed that Israeli forces prevented its volunteers from treating the wounded. 

Jericho has been under siege from Israeli forces for the second week now. The Israeli army erected roadblocks and additional checkpoints on the roads leading to Jericho city, in the eastern region of the occupied West Bank, last week after an alleged shooting in a restaurant in the city. 

Israeli security agency Shin Bet had claimed that two Palestinian gunmen unsuccessfully tried to carry out a massacre in the restaurant on January 28. At least seven Israeli settlers were killed in a shooting in occupied East Jerusalem a day earlier.   

The Israeli army had also conducted a raid in the Aqbat Jabr camp, located inside Jericho city, on Saturday, January 4. At least 13 Palestinians were injured in that raid as Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles at those resisting. At least nine Palestinians were also arrested during the raid. 

Palestinians have called the siege of Jericho a form of “collective punishment.” Wafa reported that due to the Israeli siege, tourism—currently Jericho’s main economic activity—has been badly affected, as entering or leaving the city has become very difficult. 

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas called for “three days of rage” beginning Sunday, February 5, against the siege of Jericho, and asked its followers in the city to fight the Israeli occupation forces. 

Israeli forces have continued to carry out deadly raids all across the occupied West Bank, in which over 40 Palestinians have been killed already this year. Last year, Israeli raids were responsible for killing the largest number of Palestinians since 2005 in the occupied West Bank. 

Noting the uptick in violence in the occupied territories, the UN has called for firm diplomatic interventions. The representative of the UN secretary general for the region and special coordinator of the peace process, Tor Wennesland, also asked Israel to curb its illegal settlements and settler violence in the occupied territories.