Four Palestinians killed in firefight with Israeli security in Jenin

Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Jenin overnight on Monday after a firefight broke out during an arrest raid.

The operation by the Israel Border Police’s YASAM (Special Patrol Unit) and other teams was aimed at arresting a Hamas suspect, identified as Mohammed Abu Zaina, to be involved in terror activity. 

“During the operation, heavy fire was opened on the force from short ranges and by a large number of terrorists. The Border Police's undercover forces returned fire at the terrorists and neutralized them,” police said in a statement. 

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The men killed were identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as 21-year-old Nour el-din Abdel-Ilah Muhammed Jarrar, 22-year-old Amjad Azmi Husseinieh, 19-year-old Saleh Amar, 21-year-old Raed Abu Said. 

Two of the bodies, including Jarrar’s, were taken by the Israel border police.

Ma’an News Agency identified a third man, 24-year-old Qassam Muhammed Taha as having been shot in the hand which led to it being amputated.

A general strike and a day of mourning have been declared in the city.

It is the third time in two months that an Israeli arrest operation in Jenin led to violent clashes. 

In early August, six Palestinians were wounded after a firefight broke out after security forces raided the city’s industrial area. One Palestinian was seriously injured in his stomach after being shot by troops and he was rushed to hospital in Nablus. The other five were injured after being shot by troops as well.

A statement released by the Israel Police’s border unit said that troops fired towards a number of Palestinians who fired live ammunition, hurled explosives and Molotov cocktails at them.

“During the operation, a number of terrorists opened massive fire, hurled explosive devices, and threw Molotov cocktails and stones towards our forces,” the statement said, adding that troops at the scene along with special forces “using advanced means and capabilities returned fire.”

While there were no injuries to Israeli security forces, an armored vehicle was damaged in the firefight.

Last month, another six Palestinians were injured during a similar raid in Jenin when a large firefight erupted after Israeli security forces arrested five terror suspects and were withdrawing. They came under “massive fire” from Palestinians who opened fire and hurled explosives towards them.
The Jerusalem Post was told by a security source that Jenin is one of the more violent cities in the West Bank.

Since Operation Guardian of the Walls and the cancellation of the Palestinian Authority elections, both Hamas and Fatah are fighting for dominance.  With armed struggle drawing out more support following the May fighting, armed cells are feeling more confident to engage Israeli security forces, the source added.