Al-Awda NY statement on the Zionist massacre in Jenin refugee camp – 1/26/23

Jenin funeral. Source: Palestinian Information Center

Al-Awda NY calls on all individuals and organizations to stand with the Palestinian liberation struggle and to publicly condemn the massacre committed in the Jenin refugee camp on the morning of Thursday, January 26. We denounce the normalization by the international community of the ongoing subjugation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the Zionist regime, and affirm the right and necessity of Palestinian resistance — a right enshrined by law and custom for colonized and subjugated people. We further demand that the international community and the U.S. government immediately decriminalize and facilitate support to Palestinians to protect themselves against Zionist colonization and crimes. Additionally, Al-Awda NY calls for the criminalization of U.S. citizens participating in the colonization of Palestine and contributing to Zionists’ crimes against humanity and war crimes against Palestinians, and an immediate prohibition on any future material support for these crimes. We, Al-Awda NY, will not forget the role of President Biden, the U.S. Congress, and all those who facilitate the endless flow of arms and financial support to the Zionist murder machine. We demand an immediate end to the supply of arms and money by the U.S. government to the Zionist regime without delay or qualification.

Al-Awda NY mourns the nine martyrs of Jenin refugee camp following the Zionist massacre committed the morning of January 26: Saeb Azriqi, Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade fighter Izzuddin Salahat, Abdullah al-Ghoul, Waseem Jaas, the elderly woman Majda Obeid, Mu’tasim Abul-Hasan, Mohamed Soboh, and brothers Mohamed and Nour Ghoneim. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported an additional twenty Palestinians were wounded with live ammunition in the Zionist massacre; four among the injured are in critical condition. The massacre came less than 24 hours after two Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and al-Quds/Jerusalem, including the 20-year-old Aref Lahlouh, who was a resident of Jenin camp. At least 30 Palestinians have risen to martyrdom in January, 2023 alone a precipitous intensification of violence by the new, ultra-fascist Zionist regime.

We condemn the massacre of another three Palestinians today, Friday January 27, 2023, murdered by an ‘israeli settler’ and stress again the demand that all states must stop the flow of Zionist settler colonizers and war criminals from their territory into Palestine.

On Thursday January 26, Zionist military jeeps and bulldozers operated by the Zionist forces entered the camp, destroying everything in their path. As they did at Sabra and Shatila, these murderers closed off all of the entrances and exits of the camp, stopping anyone from fleeing. Mohammed Abed, a local journalist, reported that the Zionist forces also “completely destroyed and ransacked” the Jenin camp’s community center, used by residents for community gatherings, funerals, and other events. According to a statement by the Jenin Freedom Theatre, a monument to the martyr Dawood Zubaidi was also destroyed. The Freedom Theatre’s statement further stressed that Palestinian youth in the camp have once again been traumatized, their mental health further violated, by the massacre and destruction witnessed on Thursday. The news agency Wafa reported that seven of the wounded were heroic youths shot while attempting to defend the Jenin camp from the Zionist forces.

During the massacre, Zionist forces shot at ambulances and blocked their passage to stop the evacuation of the wounded. Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaileh reported that Zionist forces fired tear gas at the pediatric unit of Jenin Hospital, causing suffocation cases from gas inhalation at the hospital, including among mothers and children. The Health Ministry announced Thursday: “All of the injuries that reached hospitals from Jenin camp were in the head and chest, meaning that the shots were intended to kill.”

Al-Awda NY honors the resistance fighters in Jenin. The Jenin Brigade made the following statement: “Our fighters in the Jenin Brigade and our resistant people confronted the occupation forces and its special forces units on more than one axis (the neighborhood of Al-Hawashin, Jouret Al-Dahab and Al-Saha) from the first moment, and a fierce battle took place, in which our fighters used explosive devices, guided bombs, and bullets … [leading] to certain injuries among the occupation forces. 6 military jeeps and a truck carrying the special forces were damaged.” (We thank the Resistance News Network for their tireless efforts to bring news from on the ground and for their translation work).

After the massacre, thousands of mourners gathered to bear the bodies of the nine martyrs from the Jenin Hospital, bringing them to cemeteries in the Jenin camp and the towns of Burqin, Yamun. We are humbled by the calls of funeral attendees for continued resistance to the genocidal Zionist project. Militant operations and protests have erupted across the West Bank in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqilya, and al-Khalil in response to the massacre at Jenin camp. A tenth martyr, 22-year-old Youssef Yahya Muhaisen, was murdered by Zionist forces during a protest in al-Ram, near occupied al-Quds/Jerusalem. A general strike has been announced across the West Bank.

Al-Nakba has intensified in recent weeks under the leadership of criminals such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, yet the Zionist colony’s genocidal barbarism has never ceased. We reject liberals’ framing of the current colonial administration as an aberration, as a threat to “democracy.” No democracy can exist in a colony. Palestinians have been resisting Zionist colonization for over 75 years, and the Thursday morning massacre at Jenin camp is part of the decades-long Zionist effort to suppress a colonized people’s resistance; a resistance that has never died and can never be killed — so long as olive trees are planted by Fellahin, as stones are thrown by the youth of Gaza, as the Palestinian flag is raised against all odds, as rifles are shouldered by our courageous fighters.

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