Two Palestinians, Including Unarmed 18-year-old, Killed in Israeli Raid in Jenin, Witnesses Say

Israeli forces entered the Jenin refugee camp to arrest a suspect – who turned himself in – but two others were killed in firefight

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Israeli security forces during an operation to demolish a residence in the village of Silat al-Harithiya near Jenin in the West Bank, in February.
Israeli security forces during an operation to demolish a residence in the village of Silat al-Harithiya near Jenin in the West Bank, in February.Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH - AFP

Two Palestinians were killed during an overnight raid by Israeli forces at the Jenin refugee camp. One of them, according to witnesses, was an unarmed 18-year-old, and the other a member of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

According to Israeli police, Palestinians opened fire on the special Border Police unit at the scene from multiple directions after the forces arrested Amad Abu Al-Hija, the son of Jamal Abu al-Hija, who served as the head of Hamas' military wing in Jenin until his 2002 arrest for involvement in terror attacks. 

The forces responded with live fire at the shooters, the police said. After the forces made their way to their vehicles, another shooter fired on them, and the Border Police responded in turn. 

Abdallah al-Husari, 22, a member of the Islamic Jihad, was killed in the firefight according to Palestinian reports. Al-Husari had previously been incarcerated in an Israeli prison.

Shadi Najam, 18, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital early Tuesday morning after being critically wounded in the exchange of fire. Per Palestinian accounts from the refugee camp, Najam was unarmed and did not belong to any organization or participate in the firefight. He ran a shop to support his parents and his paralyzed brother, according to the accounts, and he was on his way home when shot.

An Israeli convoy enters Jenin, and the exchange of fire outside of the hospital.

A large convoy of Israeli forces had entered the refugee camp in the West Bank city on Monday night to arrest Amad Abu Al-Hija on terror offenses.

According to eyewitnesses, the Israeli forces surrounded the home and Amad Abu Al-Hija, who had previously been imprisoned by Israel, turned himself in.

According to another report, Israeli forces surrounded the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, and exchanged fire with Palestinians there as well.

Police said that after Abu al-Hija's arrest, about 150 Palestinians began rioting in the city, hurling Molotov cocktails, stones and an improvised grenade at forces, who responded with live fire and riot dispersal measures. 

Earlier on Monday, Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians in clashes in Jerusalem's Old City. Fourteen more were wounded, four of whom were rushed to hospital, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Confrontations between young Palestinians and police began as Muslims celebrated the Isra and Mi’raj on Monday, commemorating Prophet Mohammed’s nighttime journey and ascent into heaven, according to Islamic tradition.

The Jenin refugee camp is part of the roughly 40% of the West Bank that is under Palestinian administration, but Israeli troops routinely enter those areas for arrest raids.

The camp has been a stronghold of armed men from the pro-Iran Islamic Jihad and the larger militant Hamas group. Islamic Jihad's top political leaders are based in Syria and Lebanon, with some prominent members in Gaza, where it is the second largest militant group after the ruling Hamas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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