On Sunday, Israeli troops killed seven Palestinians in two separate raids, in the deadliest single day of violence in the West Bank in several weeks. Some reports put the number at ten people killed. All but one were killed in the village of Qabatia, south of Jenin, in a massive military invasion by Israeli forces on Sunday afternoon.
In the first raid, in the city of Jenin itself, Ali Jabarin, a former member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers who had encircled a building next to Palestinian intelligence headquarters in Jenin.
And in Qabatia village, Israeli soldiers surrounded a house and shot it to pieces, then bulldozed what was left. The men inside were either shot or crushed to death.
Thair Hanaisha was one of the victims, and his brother, Mejahid, was also shot and killed as he rushed to help his dying brother, witnesses said Sunday.
Medics also said that 21-year-old Jihad Asaf Iqmel had been shot dead by troops after he threw stones at the forces in Qabatiya.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, denounced the raids, calling on the international community and the ‘Quartet for Mid-East Peace’ to intervene and demand an immediate halt to Israeli attacks.
Abbas was travelling to Russia on Sunday for talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi with President Vladimir Putin.
Israeli military sources confirmed the clashes but were unable to comment on the casualties.
The army said that in both places troops seeking to carry out arrests were fired upon and returned fire.
Palestinian security sources said the Israeli raid was apparently targetted at Mahmoud Saadi, the overall leader of Islamic Jihad in the Jenin area.
Saadi was hit in the chest and legs but his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, the sources said.
Three Palestinians killed in ongoing invasion in Jenin
A Palestinian security source in Jenin reported on Sunday afternoon that three Palestinians, including two brothers, were killed during clashes which erupted after the Israeli army invaded the West Bank city of Jenin and the nearby town of Qabatia.
The source stated that Israeli troops attacked a Palestinian security center in Jenin and clashed with members of the Palestinian security forces; one security officer identified as Ali Jabareen was killed in the clashes.
In Qabatia town, troops shot and killed two brothers identified as Mojahid Hanaisha, 18, and his brother Tha’er, 20 years old.
A local source in the town reported that soldiers surrounded a house and exchanged fire with resistance fighters hiding there.
Abu Mojahid, media spokesperson of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) reported that the two brothers are field leaders of the Salah Ed Deen Brigades, the military wing of the PRC.
Exchange of fire is also reported in Qabatia; soldiers are surrounding a house used as a hideout fighters of the Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad.