Israel military forces Thursday killed seven Palestinian gunmen and two Palestinian citizens in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. The UN condemned the raid and urged both Israel and Palestine to “de-escalate tensions, restore calm, and avoid further conflict.” Amnesty International also condemned the raid, calling it “a reminder of the cost of…shameful inaction” in the area.
Phillip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International, said:
In the space of just a few hours this morning, Israeli forces killed at least nine people and injured 20 more; blocked ambulances from accessing the wounded; and fired tear gas at a hospital, reportedly causing suffocation injuries to sick children.
The UN Human Rights Office called the situation an “endless cycle of violence.” The office tweeted:
We are very concerned by the sharp rise in Palestinian fatalities during Israeli operations in occupied West Bank. So far this year: 28 killings. In 2022: 152 killings. This endless cycle of violence must end. All those responsible for violations must be held to account. pic.twitter.com/DJa9a0AzHi
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) January 27, 2023
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called upon the UN and international human rights organizations–like Amnesty International–to intervene to protect Palestinians. In January alone, 28 Palestinians have been killed across occupied-East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In contrast, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who in 2007 was convicted of incitement against Palestinians and support for terrorism, has expressed support for freer open-fire regulations for the Israeli police.
Established in 1953, the Jenin refugee camp is the northernmost camp in the West Bank and a place of significant suffering throughout the decades. The camp was significantly affected during the second intifada. As a result, the camp experiences some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment among the 19 West Bank settlements.
Tensions also recently flared in the area in May 2022 when Israeli forces shot dead Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. A collaborative report released by the Palestinian human rights group, Al-Haq, and the UK-based research agency, Forensic Architecture, confirmed an earlier UN report that Israeli forces deliberately targeted Abu Akleh while in the Jenin camp. In September, Israeli forces admitted to the killing of Abu Akleh, but maintained that she was mistakenly targeted.