Raid On Jenin - West Bank
Ewa Jasiewicz sent this dispatch from inside Jenin as the Israeli Occupation Force once again went steaming in
11th May 2003
At approximately 4.30pm today two apache helicopters circulated above the Yahiya Aiyash area and shot repeatedly at unspecified targets. People believe it was aimed at fighters speeding to assist their brothers targeted in the Jabbal Abu Dher area up above Jenin, west of the Camp. Others think it may have been designed to lure and distract them from their arrest operation. Approximately six Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) tanks, two hummers and three jeeps entered Jenin from Haifa Street and Naser Street. They shot round after round of ammunition and shot 9-year-old Afmad Rahal from the Camp in the leg during clashes between the kids and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and tank. The tanks zoomed around the town centre as people went about their shopping and business in the market. People ran for cover and many flocked to the local hospital.
The targets of the IOF operation were Jihad Islami fighters, Mhammad Zaatan, Iyyad Jawadat and Aness Jawadat, all aged 19. Approximately 50 soldiers surrounded the house of the Kherri Khalad family in the Jabbal Abu Dher area, entering the surrounding homes - ordering residents out with their hands up - and taking up sniper/attack positions at the windows and on the rooves. Eyewitnesses reported strong resistance from fighters in the area. The number of injured soldiers, if any, is unknown.
The three wanted men were not injured but stepping into the downstairs apartment from where they were snatched, you can see a scene of bullet shattered windows, smashed furniture, shot-up walls, an open and rifled-through fridge and torn mattresses. A 13-year-old boy was with the men at the time. He was unharmed but shaken. The whole operation - from the first thundering Apache missiles impacting on the already tank-smashed streets of Jenin, to the chasing, stone throwing kids attacking APCs and the gun battle between scantily armed fighters for their brothers being shot out of their hiding place - lasted approximately half an hour.
Jenin is quiet now. Below is a report I wrote about the relative calm of the past 10 days or so, ruptured so meticulously and jarringly today.