Violent Clashes in Jenin, Injuries, Intensive Destruction Reported

JENIN, September 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army forces demolished a house, set two other homes ablaze, and caused intensive damages to properties during a late night crackdown on Jenin city and the nearby refugee camp, provoking fierce confrontations with local Palestinians, according to local and security forces.

According to media sources, at least 40 military vehicles, which were accompanied by bulldozers and squad members of the elite Yamam ‘counter-terrorism unit’, broke into the city in the late night hours and cordoned off the house of Majdi Abul-Heja, a well-known Hamas activist and a former prisoner, in Jenin refugee camp as a prelude to demolish it.

As the military vehicles advanced deeper into the refugee camp and approached Abul-Heja’s home, they came under fire from an unknown source and a soldier was injured. However, The Israeli Daily Haartez said that investigations are underway to determine whether the ‘soldier was shot by a Palestinian or wounded by friendly fire.’

The army then asked Abul-Heja and his family members through speakers to get out of their home and to surrender. Abul-Heja, 40, his son, Suhaib, and his brother, Alaa, were detained by the army before the latter proceeded to demolish their home. The mother was also detained for hours before being released.

To be noted, ambulances of the civil defense and Red Crescent, who rushed to Abu el-Haija’s house, were prevented from reaching the site by the Israeli army.

Army forces also targeted nearby homes with rocket-propelled grenades, setting two homes ablaze and causing intensive damages and destruction, including the destruction of several retaining walls. The grenades’ firing cut off the power supply in the camp and parts of the city, as well as in the nearby village of Kufr Dan.

An army vehicle also ran over a teenager identified as Islam Dababa, 15, causing him minor injuries, according to local sources.

Following the Israeli raid, Israeli forces clashed with the provoked local Palestinians in multiple areas in the city and the camp, during which soldiers fired live ammunition, teargas canisters, and stun grenades towards locals, causing dozens of suffocation cases due to tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile, further forces further surrounded another home in the area in search of local Bassam As-Sa’adi, a leader in the Islamic Jihad Movement.