On January 26, 2023, heavily armed Israeli soldiers invaded Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank and killed at least nine people. A 60-year-old woman, recognized as Magda Obaid was among those who were killed. More than twenty other Palestinians from the Camp were injured, some of them are in a critical condition.
The armed forces invaded the camp by disguising in a commercial van at around 7.00 AM local time and started shooting at people in the camp who tried to block their entry. The entry of the van was followed by the invasion of the Camp by bulldozers and several military jeeps. The occupation forces opened fire at a building in the Camp used as a gathering space for the residents. The Israeli forces hampered the access of paramedics to the injured and fired tear gas into the Jenin Government Hospital. Before leaving the camp, Israeli soldiers demolished a home belonging to one of the residents.
Following the massacre in the Camp, a three-day general strike was declared across the West Bank. Protests also broke out in different parts in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces violently dispersed the peaceful protests resulting in the murder of Yousef Yehya Abdel-Kareem from Al-Ram town near Jerusalem. This brings the death toll of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army and settlers to 30 people since the start of the year.
Massacre in cold blood
The massacre of nine people in cold blood and destruction of people property reminded Palestinians of scenes of the Jenin massacre in 2002 during the second Intifada. In that massacre several Palestinians along with their homes were killed by Israeli forces. The Israeli perpetrators were never held accountable, and so will the soldiers who killed nine people today.
The massacre committed against Palestinians in Jenin today is a continuation of Israeli apartheid and settler colonial violence, which has been witnessing an escalation since last year. In 2022, more than 220 Palestinians were murdered by the Israeli forces, making the year the bloodiest since the second Intifada.
The escalation of violence against the Palestinian people coincides with the Israeli government’s announced plans to annex large swathes of the West Bank to Israel. The Israeli government also announced its intention to approve the construction of 18, 000 illegal settlement units in the West Bank in the upcoming months. The number of Israeli illegal settlers is set to increase, as well. The more Israeli settlements are built and expanded, the more Palestinians will be ethnically cleansed from their land.
Ongoing ethnic cleansing
Masafer Yatta (the South Hebron Hills) is one of the areas targeted by Israeli settlement expansion and annexation. Currently, 14 pastoral communities living in the so-called Firing Zone 918 face an imminent Israeli ethnic cleansing. The communities have been enduring Israeli apartheid policies and practices to forcibly displace them for more than five decades. The ethnic cleansing of these 14 villages will be the largest Israeli mass ethnic cleansing since 1967.
This is in addition to the imminent expulsion of tens of other pastoral communities in the semi-desert area near Jerusalem. The Bedouin village of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar is one of these communities. Khan Al- Ahmar is located between the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim in the Jerusalem district. In 2018, the demolition of the entire village of Khan Al-Ahmar was delayed by an Israeli Court decision. However, last week, Israeli Knesset members made a provocative visit to the area as part of Israeli plans to ethnically cleanse the village soon.
Scotland condemns the massacre in Jenin - Stop the ongoing Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.
Join the international action of opposition to Apartheid Israel's ethnic cleansing and murderous colonisation of Palestine.
Protests in Scotland:
Saturday 28th January
Edinburgh: 1pm Waverley Bridge
Glasgow: 1pm Buchanan Steps
Aberdeen: 2pm St Nicholas Square