In the twenty-four hours since Israel initiated the operation “Breaking Dawn” in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, protests and calls for resistance have swept across the West Bank.
Tayseer Ja’abari, a top Palestinian Commanding Officer of the Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was the target of the most recent Israeli military assault on Gaza, according to an Israeli military statement.
More than 15 Palestinians, including a five-year-old child, have been killed as a result of the Israeli military attack on Gaza. Another 140 people, most of them civilians, were reportedly hurt in the latest Israeli military aggression.
More than 5,246 Palestinians, including children and teenagers, have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces since 2008.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have responded by firing more than 450 rockets in response. Several Israeli soldiers were injured by shrapnel, while two civilians were treated for minor injuries they got while running for their bomb bunker.
Palestinian resistance groups in the West Bank are warning of retaliation as demonstrations across the occupied area and inside Palestinian communities within Israel get underway.
Reaction of Palestinian armed groups in Jenin
In a statement issued on behalf of the Palestinian armed resistance factions in the Jenin Refugee Camp on Saturday night, Saraya Al-Quds, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, claimed that the armed brigades (Al-Aqsa, Abu Ali Mustafa, and Al-Qassam) had promised a coordinated response to Israel’s “foolishness” in attacking Gaza.
“We warn the occupation from committing additional foolishness, and inform that settler roads will be under resistance fire. From this moment, settlers are not permitted to travel through the streets of the West Bank,” the armed resistance group issued a statement.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was shot and murdered by Israeli military personnel in May while covering developments in the Jenin refugee camp. 15 Palestinians were killed in the camp by Israeli soldiers between January and April of this year. Continuing its armed incursions into the Jenin refugee camp, Israeli forces killed Dirar al-Kafrayni, a 17 years-old boy, on August 3.
Raids in West Bank and protests
Palestinians in Ramallah took to the streets to shout “Gaza, we are with you” in protest of the crimes committed against the beleaguered Palestinian population in Gaza and the increase of Israeli attacks on Palestinians throughout Palestine.
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Israeli armed forces raided Jenin, Hebron, Tubas, and Ramallah in the early hours of Saturday morning (Beit Sira and Qalandia refugee camp). According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, 22 Palestinian males were detained as a result of the operation, including journalist Ibrahim Abu Saffiyeh. Rami Al-Kassar, who had previously served 15 years in Israeli political custody without charge, was one of many former political prisoners.
Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have also called for demonstrations in Haifa, Umm El-Fahem, and Tel Aviv. Nonetheless, there were few protests. This may be a result of the cruelty witnessed by Israeli troops and settlers during last year’s Unity Intifada, in which Palestinians were pursued by settlers and Israeli security officers dressed in civilian attire and yelling “Death to Arabs.”
Today at roughly 6:00 p.m., Palestinians in Ramallah demonstrated against the attack and in support of Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails. Similarly, scores of Palestinians and anti-apartheid Israeli activists demonstrated in Jaffa’s historic Clock Square, screaming “we were not born to be humiliated; we are born to live free.”
Local Palestinians in various cities appear to have similar sentiments. The emphasis is on the fact that Israel’s military actions against Palestinians in Gaza should not be divorced from the escalating attacks by settlers and the Israeli military on Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli residents who are still being forcibly evicted and relocated.
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