Palestinian killed, 12 arrested in raids across the West Bank

A Palestinian man was killed during clashes with soldiers in Jenin and neighboring West Bank villages early Wednesday morning as Israeli security forces carried out arrest raids.

The man was identified as Ahmad Mohammad Massad, 18, from the nearby village of Burkin, the Palestine News Agency, WAFA, reported. Ibn Sina Hospital head Jani Abu Jokha said he had been shot in the head, the report said.

Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised Massad as a martyr who had previously served time for security offenses.

“We strengthen the hands of the resistance fighters and the youth who heroically confronted the terrorism of the occupation and its continuous attacks,” Hamas said in a statement. “We call upon the youth throughout the occupied cities and villages to support Jenin and to stand united and continue confronting the occupier until it is defeated.”

Three other Palestinians, a 16-year-old and two 19-year-olds, were wounded and were in moderate and stable condition.

The clashes between Palestinian gunmen and soldiers from the Duvdevan commando unit broke out after troops entered the Jenin refugee camp.

“During the operation in Jenin, Israel Defense Forces troops acted to quell a violent riot at the scene with dozens of Palestinians who opened fire, burned trash and hurled explosive devices at troops, who responded with gunfire,” the IDF said in a statement. No soldiers were wounded.

During the raids in Jenin, soldiers arrested two men suspected of terrorist activity and also pinned the demolition order to the home of Ra’ad Hazem, who carried out the recent shooting attack at a bar on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, killing three Israeli civilians.

Hazem’s father later responded to the order, telling local Palestinian media: “Every Palestinian youth who raises a banner is called a terrorist. All the youths of Palestine are being targeted. We are not terrorists; we are defending our land and holy site.”

In another video, the former Palestinian Authority security officer is heard saying, “We are ready for you. We will ambush you. Inshallah, we will defeat them soon.”

Israeli security forces have been carrying out widespread arrests across the West Bank following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in Israeli cities that claimed the lives of 14 people.

“There is not one spot in the West Bank where the IDF doesn’t operate,” Menashe Regional Brigade Deputy Commander Lt.-Col. Alon Hanuni told The Jerusalem Post.

“They influence their future, and they could be in a complicated place in terms of their lifestyle,” he said. “I am talking about the refugee camps. And if the enemy continues with what he is doing, they will suffer a lot more than they are suffering now. And they are not suffering; they are living comfortably. It’s all in their hands.”

To bring the current wave of violence to an end without further attacks, the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police have been focusing their sights on the northern West Bank, the Palestinian cities of Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Tulkarm and their surrounding villages.

The IDF has reinforced its presence in the West Bank by 12 battalions for a total of 25 battalions.

The redeployment allows the military to carry out offensive operations in the West Bank and deploy soldiers along the security fence to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel through holes in the fence.