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How Israeli Jenin raids incite Palestinian resistance

  • Israeli soldiers shot Amr Musara, a Palestinian journalist
  • Israeli raids in Jenin target both civilians and militants
  • Increased violence drives young Palestinians to join resistance

Amr Musara reported on Israel’s assault on the Jenin refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 21.

The 25-year-old videographer collaborated with three Palestinian colleagues designated as press members.

The Israeli army fired upon them.

Musara sustained a gunshot wound to the back as his colleagues slid to the ground to seek refuge. Musara was immediately transported to the nearest hospital after the soldiers ceased firing.

Musara said where he is recuperating from his wounds, “I thought I was going to die.”

Israel habitually fires at journalists throughout the West Bank, according to Musara.

In the same manner as they targeted Shireen, they targeted us,” Musara stated.

“There was no threat to the Israeli soldiers in our vicinity.” There were no resistance combatants.

They fired at us.

Violent patterns

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israel has killed 516 Palestinians in the West Bank since it initiated its assault on Gaza on October 7.

Israel typically deploys clandestine soldiers into West Bank cities to monitor and evaluate the region before the arrival of the army or special forces, as per an investigation conducted by the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq and the London-based research group Forensic Architecture.

Last week, several Israeli soldiers who were posing as Palestinians entered Jenin and established positions among the residences to survey the camp.

The following morning, the army invaded the refugee camp in Jenin with bulldozers, jeeps, and tanks. According to Atef Abdul Rub, a journalist and camp resident, the bulldozers were dispatched to demolish homes, roads, and stores.

They began shooting at a school, shooting at the students and the teachers.

A teenage boy and a doctor were among the ten civilians who were slain during Israel’s most recent incursion into the camp.

For years, Israel has conducted numerous raids on the Jenin refugee camp, purportedly to eliminate the Jenin Brigades, an umbrella organization of armed groups that oppose Israel’s occupation.

Israeli forces frequently demolish entire neighborhoods, alleging that they are home to fighters. Civilians are subjected to punishment during this process, including being slain, arrested, or rendered homeless.

“What I observed in Jenin camp is akin to Gaza on a smaller scale,” stated Zaid Shuabi, a Palestinian human rights activist in the West Bank.

Roads are invisible due to their destruction.” The infrastructure, sewage and electricity systems, water pipelines, and telecommunication networks are all damaged.

The United Nations has reported that 88 individuals have been slain, and 104 structures have been destroyed in the Jenin camp since January 2023.

Resistance

A new cohort of Palestinian armed factions has emerged throughout the West Bank since 2021. The Jenin Brigades have engaged in numerous raids against Israeli forces in the Jenin camp.

According to Tahani Mustafa, a specialist on Israel-Palestine at the International Crisis Group (ICG), a Belgian think tank, the organization is loosely comprised of militants affiliated with Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hamas.

These groups in Jenin were initially established as a community defense mechanism. As Israel’s raids became more violent and systemic, they expanded in size.

She stated that the young men who are involved in these organizations are responding to the intensifying occupation by Israel and are disillusioned with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is perceived as an Israeli auxiliary by a significant number of Palestinians and administers the occupied West Bank.

The PA was established due to the 1993 Oslo Accords, which included security cooperation with Israel.

Mustafa further stated that certain senior Fatah officials in the PA support and finance certain Fatah factions in the Jenin Brigades to enhance their influence in any future power struggle to control the PA.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has consistently forewarned of a violent succession conflict in the Palestinian Authority (PA) if President Mohamad Abbas, 88, steps down or passes away.

Mustafa stated that the PA security forces provide a monthly salary to the other members of the Jenin Brigades.

“Initially, the Americans and Israelis intended to employ the [PA] security forces as a means of disarming radical [fighters] and providing them with employment in exchange for surrendering their weapons,” she stated.

“Now, it is evident that this is not feasible within the context of the occupation.” Many of these individuals are employed and receive a monthly salary; however, they continue to participate in resistance.

End your life with dignity.

Some young males enroll in armed groups to receive a salary. Mustafa stated that the PIJ provides its members a monthly salary ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

The financial incentives have attracted young males from outside the camp.

“Since July last year, we have observed many of these individuals originate from other regions. This has resulted in a contentious relationship, as it is one thing to be a civilian who is killed as a result of the actions of a family member.”

It is another matter when you are unaware of the identities of these individuals.

Shuabi stated that Israel penalizes civilians in the camp to incite them to support the resistance fighters. He elucidated that Israel deliberately demolishes homes, roads, and neighborhoods as part of a more comprehensive strategy to displace Palestinians from the Jenin camp progressively.

According to the United Nations, 3,000 individuals were displaced as a result of a significant Israeli operation against the camp in July.

Israel intentionally destroyed water pumps and electricity grids, resulting in a severe shortage of services for those who remained in the camp.

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Shuabi thinks that Israel’s strategy is manifesting counterproductive results.

He stated that an increasing number of young Palestinians are joining resistance organizations to defend their families and communities from Israel’s raids or to avenge loved ones.

“Even if they are experiencing pain, the families of martyrs comprehend why their brothers, sons, or other family members are participating in the resistance,” he stated.

“They are being targeted, regardless of whether they are a member of the resistance.” They believe that they may as well die with dignity by participating in the resistance.

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