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Israeli forces raid Jenin camp again, injure several people ahead of slain reporter’s funeral

Black smoke rises following an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank on May 13, 2022. (Photo by Safa news agency)

Israeli military forces have once again raided the Jenin refugee camp, hours before the funeral of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot by the regime’s troops as she was covering one of Israeli military’s raids on the camp.

Palestinian sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several Israeli military vehicles rolled into the Jenin camp on Friday morning, triggering violent confrontations with local residents.

Israeli troops opened live fire and shot rubber-coated bullets at young Palestinians, who were attempting to block their passage.

The sources added that at least six people, including former Palestinian prisoner Daoud al-Zubaidi, were struck with bullets and were transferred to a nearby hospital to receive medical treatment.

Palestinian media outlets also reported that Israeli forces blew up a Palestinian house in the Jenin refugee camp.

The forces surrounded the house belonging to Mahmoud al-Daba’i, with Israeli snipers deployed in large numbers in the surrounding areas.

An Israeli military bulldozer and several military vehicles stormed the area shortly after the shelling of Daba’i’s house.

Local sources said Israeli forces detained the Palestinian man’s mother and used her as a hostage to compel him to surrender.

The development came as the body of Abu Akleh has been transferred to the holy city of the al-Quds from the occupied West Bank.

Her coffin began its journey to the drumbeat of a marching band, as crowds chanted slogans demanding an end to the Palestinian Authority’s security cooperation with Israel.

Thousands of mourners are expected to attend the funeral at a church in the Old City of al-Quds on Friday afternoon.

Roads along the route of the procession would be closed, an Israeli police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that extra forces will be deployed to al-Quds amid the mounting tensions in the city.

Abu Akleh was given a full state memorial on Thursday at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s compound in Ramallah.

Thousands lined the route as her coffin, draped in the Palestinian flag, was driven through the central West Bank city, where a street is to be named in her honor.

Abu Akleh was hit by a live bullet on Wednesday while covering an Israeli raid against the city of Jenin. She was rushed to the hospital and was declared dead shortly afterward.

In video footage of the incident, Abu Akleh can be seen wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS.”

Ali Samoudi, another Palestinian journalist working for Al Jazeera, was also shot and hospitalized during the Israeli attack.

Samoudi told The Associated Press they were among a group of seven reporters who went to cover the raid early on Wednesday.

He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters and they passed by Israeli troops so the soldiers would see them and know that they were there.

He said the first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. Dismissing the Israeli account of the incident, he said there were no combatants or other civilians in the area — only the reporters and Israeli army troops.

Shaza Hanaysheh, a reporter with a Palestinian news website who was also among the reporters, gave a similar account, stressing there were no clashes or shooting in the immediate area.

She said that when the shots rang out she and Abu Akleh ran toward a tree to take shelter.

“I reached the tree before Shireen. She fell on the ground,” Hanaysheh said. “The soldiers did not stop shooting even after she fell. Every time I extended my hand to pull Shireen, the soldiers fired at us.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Information condemned what it said was a “shocking crime” committed by Israeli forces.

“The Israeli occupation has repeatedly targeted, injured, and assaulted Palestinian journalists. Shireen joins other journalists that Israel killed as they worked on revealing the crimes of the Israeli occupation. The killing can never deter our people from continuing the struggle for freedom, will only shorten the life of the occupying regime, and will bring us closer to freedom and an end to Israeli impunity,” it said.

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