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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Ramallah – Kifah Zboun

Bloody Clashes in Jenin Refugee Camp in the Wake of Tel Aviv Attack

Activists set up a Palestinian flag overlooking an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. (AFP file photo)

Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian, injured 14 others and arrested wanted people on Saturday in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, home of the gunman behind a recent deadly Tel Aviv attack.

The Palestinian killed was identified as Ahmad al-Saadi, 23, who was reportedly a member of al-Quds Brigades (Saraya al-Quds), the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement.

Two of the wounded Palestinians were hit in the abdomen by live bullets, including a 19-year-old girl, and one was hit by shrapnel in the head.

The Israeli army said a military operation was ongoing in the Jenin camp, a stronghold of Palestinian armed factions in the north of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians in the camp threw bullets, stones and bottles at Israeli soldiers as violent, bloody and prolonged clashes erupted.

The Israeli army announced in a statement on Saturday the end of its operation, saying that its forces “killed and arrested activists who were planning to carry out offensive operations inside Israel.”

The Hebrew website Ynet quoted an Israeli army spokesman as saying that among the detainees was an activist in the Hamas movement and a gunman from the Islamic Jihad movement.

Saturday’s raid came a day after Israel said it had killed Raad Hazem, 28, the alleged gunman who went on a shooting spree Thursday in a popular nightlife district of Tel Aviv, killing three Israelis and wounding more than a dozen others.

A total of 14 people have been killed in attacks in Israel since March 22. Over the same period, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed.

The operation targeted the arrest of Hazem’s father, Fathi, who refused to turn himself in, along with his three brothers.

Fathi is a former security prisoner who previously served as an officer in the Palestinian Authority’s security services in Jenin. He has refused an Israeli request to be questioned.

On Friday, Fathi praised his son’s actions to a crowd gathered in front of the family home.

He promised people to see the victory and change soon, asserting they will obtain their freedom and independence.

Hazem went on the run after the attack and was found hiding near a mosque in Jaffa after hours long of manhunt involving hundreds of security officers.

While initially raising his hands in surrender, Hazem reportedly then drew a gun and opened fire on the officers, who fired back and killed him.

Dozens of Palestinians attended Saadi’s funeral, while many gunmen vowed to “retaliate his killing.”

The Islamic Jihad group identified the dead man as one of its fighters, warning that and that the occupation will pay dearly for its crimes.

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