42 Palestinians Killed in Seven Weeks/Two Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel executed in Tulkarm

12:00 Nov 25 2023 Tulkarem (Tulkarm, طولكرم )

42 Palestinians Killed in Seven Weeks/Two Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel executed in Tulkarm
IDF forces in Tulkarm (Photo: REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta) Published by YNET News

Suspects confess of having received money to help IDF locate wanted persons; 'There is no immunity for any informant or traitor,' says local group

by Einav Halabi for Ynet News
Nov 25, 2023

Two Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel were executed in the Tulkarm refugee camp, against the backdrop of the assassinations carried out by the IDF in the area in recent weeks.

One of them confessed in a series of video recordings about the details of the collaboration. He confessed to having received 17,000 shekels ($4,600) and the second suspect received 10,000 ($2,700) dollars.

The organization calling itself "Resistance Security" referred to the executions, "We want to inform you that there is no immunity for any informant or traitor, and anyone proven to be involved in any assassination of our fighters and resistors will be attacked, pursued, and sentenced to death. To those who have sold themselves to the enemy's masters, we say: Return to the embrace of your homeland and your people, and the door of repentance is open to you before you reach your bunkers."

Since the beginning of the war, alongside the central theater in the Gaza Strip, the IDF has also been active in the Ssest Bank, conducting many arrests and assassinations. On the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, military forces operated in the Tulkarm refugee camp, uncovering roads where explosives were hidden, while simultaneously aerial vehicles attacked terrorists from the air. In total, six terrorists were killed in the operation.

42 Palestinians Killed in Seven Weeks: A Visit to a West Bank City That Has Become a Firing Zone

Since the start of the war, 42 residents of Tul Karm and its two refugee camps have been killed by IDF troops. Among the dead: A mentally ill man and a youth of 15, shot twice in the head. When the boy’s father tried to tend to him, the soldiers shot him as well

by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac for Haaretz
Nov 25, 2023 7:11 am IST

On the main road leading from the town of Anabta to the city of Tul Karm, near the entrance to the Nur Shams refugee camp east of the city, one needs to drive slowly and maneuver between potholes, puddles and piles of mud.

Israel Defense Forces bulldozers have destroyed this part of the road, to facilitate the army’s frequent incursions into the camp (every other night, according to residents). Due to the risk of improvised explosive devices being embedded in the asphalt, roads are ripped up and then left unpaved. As result, cars move only haltingly, stuck in a perpetual traffic jam.

The two man roads within the camp have been torn up as well, repaved by the Palestinians, and then again torn up by the army. The infrastructures in the camp – water, electricity and sewerage – have been seriously damaged by army bulldozers. Blocks of concrete and piles of dirt have been placed at the Einav checkpoint since the start of the war, to make it difficult for cars to pass there too. The West Bank is still relatively quiet, but the IDF is more active there than ever, sowing destruction under the cover of defensive measures.

The already-difficult financial situation in the West Bank has been compounded by the wartime lockdown, which prevents tens of thousands of laborers from going to work in Israel. Even those who in the past would risk sneaking into Israel illegally for work, are now scared of passing through the breaches in the security fence due to the dangerous atmosphere. A few laborers have already been beaten up on streets in Israel. Israeli Arabs have stopped coming to Tul Karm to shop, afraid of the checkpoints, soldiers and settlers. The West Bank is heating up, albeit quietly. The feeling is that the IDF is not only working to keep Israelis safe, but also taking advantage of the war to oppress the Palestinian residents even more than usual – to torture them. Support for Hamas, it can be assumed, has skyrocketed here since the war broke out.

The residents are glued to the images being broadcast from Gaza. The shock over what happened on October 7 in the Negev, and its scale, is evident here as well. Conspiracy theories are rampant, considering how the army was taken by surprise and overcome by the attackers, suffering a grave, initial failure on that fateful Shabbat. No one imagined such a thing happening. Everyone understands that things will never be the same, that that Saturday was a watershed moment.

But, just how will things change? No one knows.

B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi, who lives in the nearby village of Attil, says that on October 7 he woke up when his son called him, agitated, from Ramallah, telling him to turn on the news. Sadi couldn’t believe what he saw: Hamas in Sderot.

No few roads have been closed to Palestinian traffic; only Jews are allowed on them, here in the land of “no apartheid.” This includes the roads between Barta’a and Jenin and between Jit and Hawara, which itself was under siege even before the war.

Cow heads are strung up on hooks in butcher shop windows in Tul Karm. A drawing of Umm Kulthum hangs from a hot dog stand called Inta Omry – “You Are My Life.” Traffic in the city is bustling, despite everything. In the Nur Shams refugee camp, 14 people were killed in one night, which we will get to later. In Tul Karm, “only” 42 people have been killed since the war began. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed across the West Bank.

People were gathered this week, as always, at the entrance to the Thabet Thabet hospital in central Tul Karm. Behind the hospital lives the Awad family. Innocent paintings of snowy mountain peaks, forests and lakes adorn the walls of their house; a blue sky is painted on the ceiling. Birds are chirping from a tiny cage. A meager house in the back of a hospital. Here lived “the engineer-shahid Majdi Awad,” as he’s described in the death notice. Awad is certainly a shahid (Muslim martyr), but he was never an engineer. He studied engineering in Jordan when he was young, but after suffering a psychotic breakdown, he dropped out. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and never worked after that. His only daughter, Atidel, 36, and her husband, Mohammed Barake, 50, sit in the tiny, kitschy living room, recalling her father’s life and death.

Since his diagnosis, four decades ago, the father stayed isolated, living on the ground floor, enveloped in his silence. He wasn’t violent, but communication with him was minimal. Nevertheless, he married Samira, now 55, and fathered Atidel. Samira made a living cleaning houses in Taibeh, Kalansua and Tira, Arab towns within Israel. Madji would sit at home or head to the market. People would give him food and drinks. He was 65, and in the photo on his death notice his face looks anguished.

On November 1, he got up as usual before dawn, before the muezzin’s call. Just after 4 A.M., he took his regular route along Mukataa Street: He got an order of hummus and ful (fava beans) at the hummus place, a pita at the bakery, and sat down at the entrance to the mosque to eat his breakfast. When he finished, he got up and walked toward the road. Footage from a security camera shows him taking his final steps: Awad is walking slowly, heavily, and then in the blink of an eye he falls on the road, his face hitting the asphalt, as a blue light illuminates the street in the background.

At the corner is an army jeep, some 100 meters from Awad. His slow walk left no room for doubt that he was an older man, and that he wasn’t holding any sort of weapon. Nonetheless, one bullet hit his head. The soldiers entered the city that night to arrest a Palestinian operative, Kasab Zakot. He was indeed arrested. Awad died on the spot.

The way to the Nur Shams camp is short. In a house at the edge of the camp resides the Mahamid family, above an abandoned shop. Nahida, 54, and Ibrahim, 58, have nine children. Ibrahim is a former journalist and publisher of a local weekly. A couple from the Israeli-Arab village of Jatt, old friends, are visiting them, which they’ve been doing frequently since tragedy struck the family. The woman from Jatt explains that she comes even though she has been scared of traveling here since the war broke out.

Taha was 15 years old. A 10th-grader. On the night of October 19, the family was awakened with the rest of their neighbors when fighters from the camp triggered an alert indicating that IDF forces were heading that way. This time, it was undercover troops in cars with Palestinian license plates.

Taha was playing a computer game with his sister Shimaa, 32. He told her he was going to see what was happening on the main road nearby. Two minutes later she heard gunshots. His other sister, Sara, 18, was on the porch and saw everything. Taha merely peeked into the road – and was shot immediately. Two bullets hit his head, one under his eye and another above it, in his forehead. Another bullet hit his leg. It was 3:35 A.M. Sara screamed for her father. “Dad, Dad, Taha fell.”

Ibrahim ran from the house toward his dying son, a distance of 20 meters or so. Ibrahim didn’t see the soldiers who shot his son, but he yelled in the direction the shots came from, in Hebrew and in Arabic, that he was the father, and also waved his hands, to no avail. The moment he tried to turn his son over to see his face, the soldiers shot Ibrahim as well. He was seriously wounded in his abdomen, and was hospitalized at Thabet Thabet for two weeks. Now he can only walk with difficulty, leaning on a cane, thin and pale.

Father and son both lay on the road without medical treatment for an hour before an ambulance was permitted to evacuate them. The ambulance first took Taha, whose death was pronounced at the hospital, and then his father, who was rushed to the operating room.

Asked about both incidents, the IDF issued the following statement: “Security forces were active on the specified dates in foiling terror and in arresting wanted figures in Tul Karm and in the Nur Shams refugee camp. During the fighting, terrorists fired at the forces massively, and threw numerous [explosive] devices at them. Security forces fired at armed terrorists, at the sources of the fire and even at the devices, to preemptively detonate them.

“We are aware of the claims about the wounding of both Majdi Awad and of Taha Mahamid and his father. The details of the incidents are being checked.”

On the night Taha was killed and his father wounded, a total of 14 residents of the refugee camp were killed, 10 by an Israeli missile. On Wednesday this week, another six people were killed at the Tul Karm camp, also by a missile fired from the air. Dozens of fatalities in a month and a half. This is the new normal.

Palestinian militants in West Bank say two 'collaborators' executed

by Haaretz
Nov 25, 2023

Palestinian militants in the West Bank said they had killed two men accused of collaborating with Israeli authorities and hung their bodies up as a warning, underlining growing fears of increased radicalization as the war in Gaza continues.

A statement from the Tul Karm Brigades, a group based in the West Bank city of Tul Karm that is associated with the Fatah faction, said there was "no immunity for any informant or traitor".

"We are on the lookout for him and we will hold him accountable," it said, referring to any such person.

Footage shared on the Tul Karm Brigades Telegram channel showed a man apparently confessing to working with Israeli security services and providing details of his activities.

Other footage, which could not be verified by Reuters, showed two dead bodies and bodies hung from a wall and an electricity pylon in front of angry crowds.

The Tul Karm Brigades statement said anyone who had been working with Israeli security services had until Dec. 5 to come forward and repent.

The Independent Commission for Human Rights, a Palestinian rights group, issued a statement criticizing extrajudicial killings but said Israeli authorities were responsible for recruiting Palestinian agents.

There was no comment from the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited governance in the West Bank, and no immediate comment from the Israeli security services.
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