JENIN, Palestinian Territories: Zionist forces in a West Bank raid killed ten Palestinians Thursday, officials in the occupied territory said. The bloodiest day in the West Bank in years erupted during a raid on the crowded refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, where gunshots rang through the streets and smoke billowed from burning street barricades.
The Palestinian health ministry said the death toll from the clashes rose to ten, including a woman, and that 20 people were wounded before the Zionist forces withdrew mid-morning. Since its records began in 2005, the United Nations has never recorded such a high death toll in a single operation in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry expressed the State of Kuwait’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the brutal aggression of the Zionist occupation forces against the city of Jenin. In a statement Thursday, the ministry affirmed that this aggression is a flagrant violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy and international law, calling on the international community to take swift and effective action to stop these ongoing Zionist violations and to provide full protection for the brotherly Palestinian people.
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf Thursday denounced, in the strongest possible terms, Zionist occupation authorities’ continued and recurrent incursions into Palestinian cities, including Jenin. In a press statement, Al-Hajraf restated the Gulf bloc’s unremitting support for the Palestinian cause, calling on the international community to intervene urgently to stop this atrocious and continued crime against Palestinian people, and to provide international protection for them.
Palestinian health minister Mai Al-Kaila charged that “occupation forces stormed Jenin Government Hospital and intentionally fired tear gas canisters at the pediatric department in the hospital”. The Zionist military denied its forces entered the hospital. “But the activity was not far away from the hospital and it is possible some tear gas entered through an open window,” a spokesman said.
Wisam Bakr, director of the Jenin health facility, said Zionist forces fired near the hospital but did not echo the health minister’s allegations that the building or pediatric ward were specifically targeted.
‘Hit in the neck’
Among those confirmed dead was Majeda Obeid, 61, who lived some meters (yards) from the house targeted by the Zionist forces. Her daughter, Kefiyat Obeid, told AFP that her mother was shot as she peered out her window at the clashes.
“After she finished her prayers, she stopped for a moment to look and, as she stood up, she was hit in the neck by a bullet and she fell against the wall and then to the floor,” the 26-year-old told AFP, as bloodstains soaked into the rug of their home. The military said the incursion targeted Palestinians from the Islamic Jihad militant group who were allegedly behind attacks on Zionist soldiers and civilians and, according to Zionist Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, were planning “to conduct a terror attack in Zionist entity”. Three Palestinians were shot in a firefight.
There were no casualties among the Zionist forces, the military said. Jenin resident Umm Youssef Al-Sawalmi said homes were hit during the raid. “Windows, doors, walls and even the refrigerator, everything was damaged by the bullets” fired by Zionist forces, she told AFP.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi vowed that “the resistance is everywhere and ready and willing for the next confrontation”. The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank so far this year to 30, including fighters and civilians, most of whom were shot by Zionist forces. Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas which rules Gaza, vowed that Zionist entity “will pay the price for the Jenin massacre”.
The Arab League held “the Zionist government led by (Benjamin) Netanyahu fully responsible for committing the horrific bloody massacre” and called for international action. The mounting toll follows the deadliest year in the Palestinian territory recorded by the UN. At least 26 Zionists and 200 Palestinians were killed across Zionist entity and the Palestinian territories in 2022, the majority in the West Bank, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
Zionists has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967. UN peace envoy Tor Wennesland said he was “deeply alarmed and saddened by the continuing cycle of violence in the occupied West Bank”. Thousands flocked to funerals in Jenin, as the Palestinian presidency announced three days of official mourning. It charged that Thursday’s raid on Jenin was happening “under international silence”.
“This is what encourages the occupation government to commit massacres against our people in full view of the world,” said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Separately on Thursday, the Palestinian health ministry said three seriously wounded Palestinians were admitted to a hospital in Ramallah after being shot by Zionist forces. – AFP