GAZA/JENIN (Dispatches) – The occupying regime of Israel launched airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip at dawn on Friday, following one of its most brutal raids on the occupied West Bank in recent years.
Israeli warplanes fired 15 missiles on a site in Al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the center of the enclave, causing damage to property and resulting in a power outage in the area, Wafa news agency reported.
Warplanes also destroyed and set fire to two other sites, in the north and southeast, according to the agency.
It came after Palestinian resistance groups fired rockets from Gaza towards occupied territories on Thursday night and into Friday morning in retaliation for the Zionist regime’s carnage in the West Bank.
The leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza claimed responsibility for the rockets during a rally in the enclave on Friday.
The airstrikes came a day after a raid by Zionist forces on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank martyred nine Palestinians and wounded 20 others.
Several heavily armed soldiers entered the camp on Thursday morning, targeting a building used as a meeting place for residents.
“What happened to them is a crime against humanity,” Osama Mansour, 55, a local activist in Jenin. “It’s a multi-faceted crime that not only includes killing our children but attacking civilians and destroying Palestinian property.”
Later on Thursday, another Palestinian was martyred as Israeli forces fired at demonstrators in the town of Al-Ram, north of Al-Quds who had come out to protest against the massacre.
A three-day national state of mourning, which began on Friday, was declared by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who described the raid on Jenin as “a massacre from the Israeli occupation in the shadow of international silence”.
Abbas’s government also announced it would be stopping its controversial policy of security coordination with the occupying regime of Israel in response to the carnage.
The latest fatalities bring the number of Palestinians martyred this year to 30, including at least six children.
According to data, Zionist forces killed more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2022 than in any single calendar year since the Second Intifada.
At least 220 people died in Israeli attacks across the occupied territories in 2022, including 48 children. Of the total death toll, 167 were from the West Bank and East Al-Quds, and 53 were from the Gaza Strip.
Fifty-five of those martyred in the West Bank last year were in Jenin - the highest of any region in occupied Palestine.
On Friday, at least 13 Palestinians suffered respiratory problems due to inhalation of tear gas fired by Israeli forces against anti-land-grab protests near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
Zionist forces used fatal violence on Friday to disperse rallies against the construction of new colonial settlements near Beita, south of Nablus, and another rally in Beit Dajan against threats to grab Palestinian-owned lands.
According to medical sources, 10 people suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation in Beit Dajan and three others suffered the same in Beita, Wafa reported.
The extremist cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu has put the expansion of illegal settlements top on the agenda.
On Friday, a far-right lawmaker tweeted “keep killing them” in response to the Thursday massacre in Jenin, in a post that has since been removed by the platform.
Almog Cohen, a Knesset member belonging to the Jewish Power party, tweeted: “Nice and professional work by the fighters in Jenin, keep killing them.”
After widespread condemnation online, the post was removed it.
Cohen, who has been a parliamentarian since the 1 November elections, served for 11 years in the Israeli police as part of a SWAT team.
In October, Cohen published a photo taken of himself nine years ago kneeling over three Palestinians from the town of Rahat, Taleb al-Touri and his two sons Rauf and Nidal, who lay bound on the ground.
Cohen captioned the picture “Those down there remember what I did in the army” with a winking emoji.
In 2013, the three Palestinians testified that the officers bound them, assaulted them in the groin area, urinated on their faces and threatened them with “a bullet to the head”. No disciplinary action was ever taken against any of the police officers.
The image enabled the three men to identify Cohen as one of the officers who attacked them and call on the so-called justice ministry to reopen the case, which the investigation unit had closed because, as it claimed, those officers could not be identified.
In May, Cohen founded an armed vigilante group to patrol southern Occupied Palestine to “fight crime among Bedouins”. He wiped his social media accounts in August.
He is not the first far-right Israeli official to celebrate the massacre of Palestinians.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Zionist regime’s new security minister, in December described a soldier who fatally shot a Palestinian man as a “hero”, and hailed the killing as “precise, swift and rigorous”.