Israel’s army has turned its sights on Jenin refugee camp following lethal Hamas assaults


Once you go to the Jenin refugee camp within the occupied West Financial institution, the kids dance round you want fireflies, filled with winks and whistles and comfortable to indicate the best way to the newest buildings destroyed by Israeli forces after a raid.

They run by slender, winding streets which were draped with tarps to cover those that stroll them from the view of Israeli drones flying overhead and previous footage of the useless, lots of them younger males posing with weapons.

The Jenin camp has lengthy been an emblem of Palestinian armed resistance to the Israeli occupation. It was a frequent goal of Israeli raids effectively earlier than Hamas launched its lethal assaults in southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 individuals.

The raids have elevated dramatically since then. Simply this week, Israel ended a three-day-long incursion into the camp. Twelve individuals have been reportedly killed, in response to information companies and dozens arrested by Israeli forces.

“The escalation elevated after seventh of October,” Dr. Wissam Baker, director of Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, instructed CBC Information in an interview on the finish of November, simply after Israeli forces had entered the grounds of his hospital on the sting of the Jenin camp.

He mentioned they’d stopped ambulances from coming and going throughout an Israeli incursion on the time.

“Earlier than, the speed of incursion was ceaselessly each two or three weeks. However now, after seven of October, the charges [are] extra frequent,” Baker mentioned. “Each two or three days. Typically brief. Typically longer.”

Israeli forces usually come into the camp with bulldozers, tearing up roads and infrastructure, and have not too long ago been utilizing airstrikes of their operations, uncommon prior to now within the West Financial institution.

Israel says it’s conducting counterterrorism operations in opposition to Hamas and different militant teams within the West Financial institution which have carried out or are planning assaults in opposition to Israeli residents.

A girl walks among rubble of a destroyed street.
A lady makes her method by the rubble on a avenue in Jenin after an Israeli bombardment. (Jason Ho/CBC)

‘The killing is not going to deliver peace’

Seventy-eight Palestinians have been killed in Jenin alone since Oct. 7, in response to the Palestinian Well being Ministry in Ramallah. That is out of 288 Palestinians killed within the West Financial institution as an entire since October’s Hamas assaults.

Not lengthy earlier than Baker spoke to CBC Information, his colleagues on the hospital had declared useless two kids shot by Israeli troopers withdrawing from town, in response to witnesses.

Adam Samer al-Ghoul was simply eight years previous, and Basel Suleiman Abu al-Wafa was 15.

Three soldiers point their guns as they walk down a street.
Israeli troopers are seen throughout a military operation within the Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday. Seventy-eight Palestinians have been killed in Jenin since Oct. 7, in response to the Well being Ministry in Ramallah. (Majdi Mohammed/The Related Press)

CCTV footage confirmed the boys falling to the bottom and different boys scattering as they did, one remaining behind to pull his pal behind a automobile.

“Throughout IDF operations within the Jenin refugee camp, quite a few suspects hurled explosives in the direction of the forces,” the Israel Defence Forces mentioned in a written response to a CBC Information request for remark. “The troopers responded by firing in the direction of the suspects, figuring out hits.”

One of many boys didn’t seem to have something in his hand and was operating away when he was shot. The opposite did, nevertheless it’s tough to see what it was.

After his demise, Hamas claimed Abu al-Wafa as one in every of its personal. However the firefly brigade might simply have claimed him, too.

A man with short black hair and a moustache, wearing a navy jacket and light-blue shirt, stands outside a building.
Dr. Wissam Baker of Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin says since Oct. 7, Israeli troopers are coming into the camp each two or three days, in contrast with each two or three weeks earlier than the Hamas assaults. (Jason Ho/CBC)

Baker mentioned he believes the troopers have been taking pictures to kill, aiming at their head and chest.

“They aren’t fighters. Not previous males. They’re youngsters,” he mentioned. “The killing is not going to deliver the peace. The killing will make new fighters.”

Israel, U.S. commerce views on post-war panorama

Many of the Jenin camp’s residents are these — or their descendants — who fled or have been pressured from their properties through the 1948 struggle surrounding the creation of Israel.

Locals are actually calling it “Little Gaza.”

The 78 individuals reportedly killed in Jenin since Oct. 7 is nowhere close to the variety of Palestinians who’ve been killed in Gaza since Israel started its struggle in opposition to Hamas — now estimated at almost 19,000, in response to the Hamas-run Well being Ministry there, with two-thirds of them girls and youngsters.

The inside of a destroyed building is filled with rubble.
The destroyed inside of Al-Ansar Mosque in Jenin is proven after an Israeli airstrike on Oct. 22. (Jason Ho/CBC)

Nevertheless it’s a mirrored image of how darkish the temper is throughout the occupied territories, together with East Jerusalem, from a individuals already effectively versed in hardship and despair.

“It isn’t simply what’s taking place within the West Financial institution. It is all the things,” Ramallah-based political analyst Nour Odeh mentioned in an interview with CBC Information.

A woman with brown hair, wearing a grey jacket, sits in a room near an open door.
Nour Odeh, a political analyst primarily based in Ramallah, says the Palestinian Authority has no credibility, and she or he believes that no matter occurs the day after the struggle, Hamas must be included in any long-term political answer. (Jason Ho/CBC)

“It is what’s taking place in Gaza. It is the truth that the entire a part of our coronary heart, of our soul as a nation, is being decimated. And we’re helpless. Not simply surviving day by day occupation, however we’re totally helpless.”

And Palestinians are hardly ever given company, she mentioned, when Israel and the USA are buying and selling public views on what “the day after” the Israel-Hamas struggle will appear like.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned Israel will keep safety management over a demilitarized Gaza, and he rejected U.S. President Joe Biden’s attain for a two-state answer to the battle — regardless of its profound neglect by the worldwide group through the years.

Biden has argued for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority (PA) that would tackle the job with the assist of keen Arab governments and the worldwide group.

WATCH | Israeli occupation intensifies in West Financial institution after Hamas assaults:

Israeli occupation intensifies in West Financial institution

Because the struggle in Gaza rages, Palestinians within the West Financial institution say they really feel more and more boxed in by Israel’s occupation. Army raids and settler violence have all intensified for the reason that Hamas assaults of Oct. 7.

Abbas, Palestinian Authority seen as corrupt

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has indicated in talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the PA would solely ponder a job as a part of a complete answer, together with Palestinian statehood.

However Odeh mentioned the PA has no credibility.

“You can’t breathe life right into a mummy. And that is mainly the management construction of the Palestinian Authority proper now,” she mentioned.

A group of people stand amid rubble after a building was demolished.
Palestinians have a look at the aftermath of an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Nov. 29. (Majdi Mohammed/The Related Press)

“As a Palestinian, I’d wish to see them gone, and I’d wish to see an natural Palestinian course of that produces an inclusive interim physique of Palestinians that may take us by this therapeutic course of, by this reconstruction course of into elections.”

The PA is a governing physique managed by Fatah that was created out of the Nineteen Nineties Oslo Accords — agreed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Group — and workout routines solely partial management of the civil administration in some components of the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is proven on Oct. 17, when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jordan. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are extensively seen as corrupt and impotent by most Palestinians. (Jacquelyn Martin/The Related Press/Pool)

The 88-year-old Abbas and his entourage are extensively seen as corrupt by most Palestinians and largely impotent within the face of the Israeli occupation, now in its 56th 12 months.

Fatah was thrown out of Gaza by Hamas after the militant group received an upset election in 2006, adopted by a close to civil struggle a 12 months later.

Hamas cannot be excluded: analyst

Israel’s Netanyahu has since been accused of encouraging that division by propping up Hamas, on the expense of Fatah and the PA, by permitting Qatar to ship massive quantities of money to Hamas.

“They construct the monster, they feed the monster after which the monster kill them,” is how Alaa Yaghi, a former Fatah MP who fled Gaza in 2007, described it in an interview shortly after the  assaults of Oct. 7.

A man rides a motorcycle along a muddy street.
A Palestinian rides a bike alongside a muddy avenue that was destroyed throughout an Israeli army raid on Jenin, on Nov. 29. (Majdi Mohammed/The Related Press)

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza and its new Hamas rulers within the wake of the militant Islamist group’s takeover with Egypt’s assist in 2007. Palestinians have not had an election in Gaza or the West Financial institution since.

Political analyst Odeh mentioned she believes that no matter occurs the day after the struggle, Hamas must be included in any long-term political answer.

“You do not have to love them, however they’re there,” she mentioned.

Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by a number of governments, together with Canada’s. Provided that it refuses to acknowledge Israel’s proper to exist and is sworn to its destruction, it is arduous to think about Israel agreeing to that.

However Odeh mentioned it is not so simple as eradicating the Hamas army wing and its al-Qassam Brigades.

“Hamas is a social motion. It has a youth motion and a girls’s motion. And it is concerned in unions and so forth,” she mentioned. “It isn’t a element you’ll be able to simply ignore or faux does not exist. And it definitely does not solely function in Gaza.”

Reputation of Hamas on the rise, ballot finds

An opinion ballot launched by Khalil Shikaki’s Ramallah-based Palestinian Heart for Coverage and Survey Analysis on Wednesday discovered a dramatic rise in assist for Hamas within the West Financial institution.

Performed between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, 44 per cent of respondents within the West Financial institution mentioned they supported Hamas, in contrast with 12 per cent in a September ballot. In the identical survey, 92 per cent known as for Abbas’s resignation.

Buildings built on a hillside appear to be stacked on top of each other.
Silwan is a predominantly Palestinian district in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, which is taken into account a part of the West Financial institution below worldwide legislation. (Jason Ho/CBC)

Within the neighbourhood of Silwan, the place the streets stream down into the valley from the partitions of the previous metropolis in East Jerusalem, Suleiman Onizan agreed that Abbas’s time is up.

However the grandfather, who was born in Silwan and nonetheless lives there at this time, comes from a era that remembers the promise of a two-state answer, together with the hope that East Jerusalem may someday be its capital.

He mentioned there is no such thing as a different choice.

“It is a battle that may hold going till individuals determine to view it rationally and supply peace. Construct bridges between the 2 nations that should dwell collectively.”

An elderly man, with a greyish beard and a bald head, wearing a dark overcoat, smokes a cigarette.
Suleiman Onizan, a grandfather who was born in Silwan and nonetheless lives there, comes from a era that remembers the promise of a two-state answer, together with the hope that East Jerusalem may someday be its capital. (Jason Ho/CBC)

Onizan mentioned there have been real seeds of hope within the Nineteen Nineties earlier than the collapse of the peace talks.

The brand new era of Palestinians is being raised on the other of hope — particularly in locations like Jenin, the place moms fear they will not be capable of shield their kids. That is the “day after” they’re already worrying about.

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