Israeli government calls for collective punishment in wake of Jerusalem shooting

In the aftermath of the Jenin massacre and the shooting operations in Jerusalem, Israeli government officials call for retribution and collective punishment, as tensions on the ground show no signs of subsiding.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces during a protest against the siege of the village of Beita by the Israeli army, January 28, 2023

The past 72 hours have been some of the deadliest recorded in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem in years.

Since Thursday, January 26, 14 Palestinians have been killed, and dozens of others have been wounded by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied territory — 10 of whom were killed in Jenin during a deadly army raid on the Jenin refugee camp.

During the same time period, six Israeli settlers and one Ukrainian woman were killed, and several others were injured in two shooting operations in Jerusalem.

The situation on the ground has continued to develop rapidly, with rockets fired out of Gaza in response to the massacre in Jenin, and a number of Israeli airstrikes carried out on the besieged strip.

Several other shooting operations have been carried out by Palestinian armed resistance groups in the West Bank, while Palestinians across the West Bank and Jerusalem have taken to the streets in protest.

Meanwhile, as Israeli forces stepped up arrests and raids, Israeli settlers waged attacks on Palestinians and their property across the West Bank, with 144 incidents of settler violence recorded in a single night on Saturday, according to Palestinian officials.

In the aftermath of the Jenin raid and the shooting operations in Jerusalem, Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have called for swift and sweeping policies of retribution across the occupied Palestinian territory – promising increased punitive home demolitions and other measures meant to target the families of Palestinians who carry out attacks against Israelis.

But despite the government’s moves towards more collective punishment, the tension on the ground continues to swell and shows no signs of stopping.

A breakdown of events

On Thursday January 26, Israeli forces shot and killed 9 Palestinians in a single raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank. That same evening, another Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces in the town of Al-Ram, northeast of Jerusalem.

On Friday, January 27, as the residents of the camp reeled from the violent raid, which they say was the worst raid they’d experienced since the Second Intifada, news broke that a shooting operation had been carried out in occupied East Jerusalem.

A young Palestinian man, 21-year-old Khairi Alqam, had gone into the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov and shot several people in the area. Seven people were killed, including six Israeli settlers, and one Ukrainian national.

Alqam, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur, was shot and killed on the scene. It was later revealed that Alqam’s grandfather, after whom he was named, was stabbed to death by an Israeli settler in 1998. The settler who killed his grandfather was released from prison in 2010.

On the same night that Alqam was killed, another Palestinian boy was pronounced dead in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan . Defense for Children International – Palestine said that 17-year-old Wadee Abu Ramouz sustained a gunshot wound below his heart on Wednesday, January 25, and succumbed to his wounds Friday night at 11 p.m.

The next morning, on Saturday, January 28 in Abu Ramouz’s neighborhood of Silwan, it was reported that a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and injured after he allegedly carried out a shooting that left two Israeli settlers injured. The shooting occurred near the Israeli “City of David” tourism park, which over the course of several years has displaced dozens of Palestinians in Silwan.

On Saturday night, a Palestinian from the village of Qusin in the Nablus district was shot and killed by a settlement security guard near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim. He was identified as 18-year-old Karam Ali Salman.

On the morning of Sunday, January 29, Omar Saadi, 24, succumbed to wounds he sustained during Thursday’s army raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Saadi’s death brought the total death toll of the Jenin raid, which Palestinians are now referring to as the “Jenin massacre,” to 10 people. Saadi was one of the founders of the Jenin Brigade.

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