From June 19 to July 3, seven Palestinian minors were killed. All seven from the JeninRefugee Camp. 0.42 sq.km. crowded with about 20,000 inhabitants. A camp known for death and blood. Blood is the setting of the camp’s youngsters. No future. Raids. Unemployment. Accessible arms. The need for identity and dignity turn them into potential candidates as “resistance fighters”.
July 3-5 were the dates of operation "Jenin Incursion” (in Hebrew, the cruel, cynical appellation Operation Home and Garden, meant to destroy a place with no gardens whatsoever). Its point was to destroy weapons infrastructure and activists arrests. It began on Monday, some time after midnight. A series of areal attacks by Apache helicopters and drones began it on the refugee camp and its outskirts.
After this bombing, large forces (about 150 vehicles) accompanied by military bulldozers streamed along several roads and surrounded the camp. They disconnected the camp from the city itself. Taking over several houses and structures overlooking the camp, they stationed snipers and disconnected electrical power. The inhabitants received messages calling them to stay indoors.
Bulldozers begin to destroy tracks, harming vehicles, walls, houses, water pipes, in order to isolate them from auxiliary forces. Ambulances are prevented from entering and paramedics must move by foot. Fire exchanges take place, Palestinians operate improvise explosive charges against the bulldozers.
At this point, the ground forces are at the camp’s outskirts. The Palestinian security forces arrest resistance fighters who try to reach the city. Forces in the camp and in the Muqata’a in Jenin fortify themselves inside their headquarters and refrain from action.
During the morning hours, after 7 hours of constant fighting, the area of the Freedom Theatre and the Shuhada Memorial nearby are bombed. Families who found refuge there or live in the surrounding area are hit. At this point, there is no electricity in the camp, no water, roads are demolished. The bulldozers move on to destroy house walls in order to create passages.
At 11 a.m., 7 killed are reported, 30 wounded including 7 in critical condition, but the final count is yet unclear, because the wounded are still inaccessible. The Israeli forces fire at ambulances, at the public hospital (teargas and live bullets), medical teams and civilians trying to evacuate the wounded.
Monday afternoon: 8 killed, over 80 wounded, 17 of them critically. On Monday evening, areal attacks take place around the Al Ansar Mosque inside the camp. There are protest demonstrations throughout the West Bank, organizations handing out aid, blood donations. The first funerals take place in the afternoon.
At night, hundreds of families are evacuated. 3000 camp dwellers – the elderly, women, children and people with special-needs – are taken to surrounding villages. Some find refuge in the city hospital. The Israeli army enters and destroys houses that have been evacuated.
Monday midnight – 9 killed, 100 wounded. 20 in critical condition.
Tuesday morning, Israeli forces bomb an explosive charge laboratory and a house. In addition, they raid houses in the Jabriat neighborhood and around the camp. The army spokesperson reports the destruction of weapons and an improvised rocket. Mass arrests take place.
During this day the public hospital is attacked again, claiming fire was shot from the inside. 5 civilians are wounded, 3 of them critically while they were in the hospital. The emergency room ceases to function because of the hits.
Tuesday afternoon ground forces try to advance from the Jabriat neighborhood towards the center of the camp. Severe battles take place as the forces enter and advance towards camp center. The cemetery is bombed, where resistance fighters are fortified. One person is killed and several are wounded. At night the forces begin to retreat. During that time an Egoz Recon Unit soldier is killed. Palestinians claim that the retreating forces leave explosive traps.
After the occupation forces retreat, the Palestinian Security Forces return to the Muqata’a in Jenin. They are received with “Traitors!” calls, gunfire, and thrown stones for their abstaining from helping and for actively arresting resistance fighters. The dead are buried on Wednesday in a mass grave. Fatah activists who arrived at the funeral are chased away.
12 killed, 140 wounded – 30 of them in critical condition, 80% of the camp houses were hit, no electricity, no water, no streets, the emergency room at the Henin Hospital is out of operation, no cinema, a hit mosque, Freedom Theatre hit. Refugees return to destroyed houses.
Noureddin Husam Marshoud نور الدين حسام مرشود
Design: Lahav Halevy
Noureddin was one of the minors who became active in the ranks of the Islamic Jihad, according to their publication after his death. His photos and Tiktok videos show him with a rifle. In others he looks like a laughing, smiling youngsters, a typical 16-year old.
On the night of July 3, he heard that his pal was hit. He got dressed and ran to the hospital. This was the last time his father saw him. He was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. One of the first killed that night.
Ali Hani Al-Ghoul علي هاني الغول
Design: Lahav Halevy
A 12th grader. Two years before his death he began putting together explosive charges. Before leaving home that night, he carried a bag with charges inside to be placed in streets and harm Israeli military vehicles.
An Israeli sniper shot him in the belly. He fell and bled profusely. Two friends ran to save him. The sniper shot them too, killing one and critically wounding the other. Ali tried to get up in order to rescue his friend, the sniper shot him in the head and killed him.
They lay there, all three, as the sniper bullets prevented any access.
Majdi Ar’arawi مجدي العراوي
Design: Lahav Halevy
Majdi’s father died when Majdi was 12-years old. His mother nurtured and raised him and his brothers in the refugee camp. He was an outstanding pupil and wanted to become an engineer. He had a rolling laugh and was very popular. He was also an Islamic Jihad activist along with his friend Ali.
When Ali was hit, Majdi and his cousin ran to save him. A sniper shot him in the head and he fell and bled to death. Yes, Majdi is the friend from Ali’s account.
Two weeks before he was killed, Majdi had finished his final examinations. He was planning a celebration. On July 20, over his grave, his mother was notified that Majdi had matriculated successfully with an average grade of 94 out of 100.
Mustafa Nidal Al-Qassem مصطفى نضال القاسم
Design: Lahav Halevy
The circumstances of his death are unknown. He must not have been active in any organization, or as the military slang calls him – uninvolved. He was shot at sometime between Monday and Tuesday. He was taken wounded by the Israeli soldiers and his body was returned the next day.
Sources: Wafa, Palestine Chronicles.
Posters design: Lahav Halevy.