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Over 100,000 Palestinians under Israeli siege in Shufat, Anata after shooting incident

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli security forces conduct a search in the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp in East al-Quds, on October 10, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have trapped more than 100,000 Palestinians in the Shufat refugee camp and the nearby Anata town amid an ongoing search for the shooter that killed an Israeli soldier.

According to Palestinian news outlets, the Shufat refugee camp and the town of Anata, northeast of al-Quds, have been besieged by Israeli forces since Saturday night, after an Israeli soldier was killed and two others were injured in a shooting attack at the checkpoint leading to the camp.

Entrances and exits to the camp and town have been closed as Israeli forces began search and arrest raids in the area as part of a large-scale campaign to find the suspect.

Reports from the refugee camp said at least 20 people were arrested since the attack, including, according to what Israeli military claims, members of the family of the alleged attacker.

Anata mayor Taha Rifai told the Palestinian WAFA news agency that Israeli forces continued on Monday to break into homes, terrorize families, stop people in the streets and check their papers while forcing shops to shut down.

Since the beginning of the Israeli blockade, Palestinians have been unable to leave to receive necessary health treatments, and many basic supplies like flour are running low. Education within the camp has been suspended as well.

Thaer al-Fasfos, an activist and member of the camp’s popular committee, told Middle East Eye that the situation within Shuafat is “tragic” and that many patients need to go to hospitals in al-Quds to receive dialysis or chemotherapy, but have been unable to do so.

Shawan Jabarin, chair of Alhaq, a Palestinian human rights group, described the siege as a “collective punishment” in which Israeli authorities “feel they are immune from accountability.”

“The life of a Palestinian has no sanctity to them, as well as their livelihoods and dignity. This is embedded in the [Israeli] occupation’s mindset,” he said, adding that “from a legal point of view, this collective punishment amounts to a war crime and violates the Geneva Convention.”

‘Resistance operation will spread’

Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, described the recent shooting operations in the West bank as a case of “resistance” that is “not spontaneous.”

This is a case of “resistance, an armed uprising, and a true and serious revolution against the occupation. We are doing all that we can in order to escalate this intifada,” al-Nakhalah said in an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network on Monday.

He also said there are efforts to “develop the capabilities of the resistance in the West Bank and spread this into [19]48-occupied territories.”

Israeli forces have been recently conducting near-nightly raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Israeli-occupied territories since the beginning of the year, including 51 in the besieged Gaza Strip during Israel’s three-day assault in August.

More than 30 of those killed were either from Jenin or were killed in the Jenin region.

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