Israel has launched a new crackdown on Palestinians living under military occupation in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. It has also ordered its military to prepare for a renewed assault on Palestinians under siege in the Gaza Strip. Israeli police arrested 13 Palestinians and injured 20 more last Sunday night, according to the Wafa news agency.
The Palestinian news site reported that soldiers attacked a group of young people who had gathered at the Damascus Gate in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Palestinians gather there after late night prayer at the nearby Al‑Aqsa mosque during Ramadan, which began last weekend. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers assassinated three Palestinians in an ambush in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin early Saturday morning.
Witnesses say a white bus blocked a car carrying the three men—Saeb Abahra, Khalil Tawalbeh and Saif Abu Libda. The three were members of the al-Quds resistance brigade. Israeli special forces left the bus and opened fire at the men and were soon joined by a large number of army reinforcements, sparking a gunfight. Witnesses also say the soldiers then blocked Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances from arriving at the scene and fired bullets at Palestinians gathering nearby.
It came after Palestinians forced back an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp last week. Israeli forces tried to enter the camp last Thursday morning but were confronted by ordinary people and resistance fighters. Israeli soldiers shot and killed two further Palestinians in the raid and injured 15 more with live fire.
Of those shot, only one had been injured in an exchange of fire with soldiers. The others were protesters who confronted the heavily armed soldiers with rocks to stop them advancing into the camp. Palestinian resistance fighters also paraded in the camp last Friday night to mark 20 years since a battle with Israeli forces during the Second Intifada—or uprising.
Israel’s latest raids come after three separate stabbing and shooting attacks by Palestinians inside Israel in recent weeks. Palestinians living within and outside of Israel’s borders face poverty, racism and violent oppression by a state that refuses them equal rights and their own land.
Israel often puts harsh restrictions on Palestinian movements during Ramadan. But it also fears a renewed uprising such as the one that began last year after Israeli forces stopped Palestinians entering Jerusalem. Israel pounded the besieged Gaza Strip with shells and missiles last year. And in a sign that it expects a new one, it has put its forces on “high alert.”
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