Tue 9-July-2024

The resistance in Jerusalem is an inextinguishable flame

Sunday 23-June-2024

By Ali Ibrahim

Occupied Jerusalem embraces an essential part of the resistance map in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) due to the Judaization plans the city is witnessing and the escalating targeting of both sanctities and residents alike. This is what has prompted more Palestinians to carry out individual operations, participate in popular resistance, stone-throwing and confront the occupation forces’ invasions and stormings of Palestinian neighborhoods in the occupied city. Despite the occupation’s attempts to suffocate the city following the Al-Aqsa Flood battle, the city witnessed a number of developments and operations. This article will present a view of the resistance in Jerusalem from the beginning of 2023 until the end of May 2024.

40 per cent of the occupation’s deaths occurred in occupied Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem is witnessing a large number of individual operations in addition to the almost daily confrontations taking place in the city’s neighborhoods. Regarding the total number of operations in occupied Jerusalem in 2023, the Palestinian Information Center monitored 1,675 operations in occupied Jerusalem out of 14,183 operations. These operations make up roughly 12 per cent of the total operations in the OPTs, which is not a small percentage considering the size of the Israeli security presence in occupied Jerusalem and the restrictions imposed by the occupation forces on the movement of Palestinians in the city.

The individual operations that took place in occupied Jerusalem managed to inflict heavy losses on the occupation, as they led to the killing of 17 settlers and security personnel out of the 43 Israeli deaths across all the OPTs. This means that the feasibility of resistance operations in occupied Jerusalem is very high, as less than 12 per cent of the total operations achieved about 40 per cent of the total Israeli death toll in 2023.

Escalating shootings

Since the beginning of 2023, occupied Jerusalem has witnessed a noticeable development in the form of the implementation of more shooting operations. These operations focused on targeting the occupation checkpoints and the barriers that separate occupied Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied territories, in addition to targeting settlements. The operation by the martyr Khairy Alqam was the first influential operation of 2023 and across the entire resistance scene in the occupied territories. This was a direct response to the killing of several resistance fighters in Jenin camp. On 27 December, 2023, Alqam, 21 years old, carried out a shooting from his car near a synagogue located in the middle of the Neve Yaakov (Nabi Yaqoub) neighborhood. The operation led to the deaths of seven settlers and the injuries of ten others. Israeli sources described the operation as the most dangerous since 2008, as the perpetrator managed to withdraw from the scene of the operation and clashed with occupation forces several times before he was killed.

Among the most prominent operations in occupied Jerusalem in 2023 was the hit-and-run by martyr Hussein Qaraqie, 30, on 10 February, 2023, which resulted in the killing of three settlers, the wounding of six others and the death of the perpetrator. In addition, there was the operation by martyr Hatem Abu Najma, 39, on 24 April, 2023, when he had carried out a hit-and-run in occupied Jerusalem, injuring eight settlers before he was killed.

On 16 November, 2023, a number of resistance fighters, namely Abdul Qadir Abdullah Al-Qawasmi, 26, Hassan Mamoun Qafisha, 28, and Nasr Abdul-Afou Al-Qawasmi, 17, carried out a shooting operation targeting the military tunnel checkpoint separating the city of Bethlehem and occupied southern Jerusalem resulting in the death of a soldier, the injury of six others and the martyrdom of the perpetrators after being shot by occupation forces. On the same day, the Al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the operation.

The last operation of 2023 took place on 30 November and was carried out by the two brothers Ibrahim Al-Nimr, 30, and Murad Al-Nimr, 38, and included a shooting and a hit-and-run operation at the northwestern entrance to the occupied city of Jerusalem, near the Ramot settlement. This led to the killing of four settlers, including a high-ranking rabbi, and the injuries of 12 settlers, ending with the shooting of the perpetrators. After the identity of the perpetrators was announced, the occupation forces stormed the two brothers’ home and arrested their father and a number of family members.

Renewed in the first half of 2024

Occupied Jerusalem witnesses dozens of operations every month, ranging from shooting and stone-throwing to confronting settlers. According to Palestinian sources, the occupied city witnessed about 137 operations between 1 January and 30 May, 2024, with January witnessing the highest number of operations at 38.

During 2024, the occupied city witnessed a number of operations by Jerusalemites deep within the OPTs. The most prominent of these operations was that of martyr Fadi Jammoum, 40, on 17 February, 2024. He carried out a shooting at the bus station in the Kiryat Malachi settlement in southern occupied Palestine, killing two settlers, injuring four others and killing the perpetrator, with the occupation announcing that the perpetrator was from the Shuafat camp in occupied Jerusalem. This was followed by the Al-Za’im checkpoint operation on 22 February, 2024, when three resistance fighters carried out a shooting attack near the checkpoint that led to the killing of Israeli security personnel, the injury of seven other settlers and the martyrdom of two of the perpetrators. The perpetrators were Mohammad Zawahra, 26, and Ahmed Al-Wahsh, 31, while the third perpetrator, Kazem Zawahra, was arrested after being shot by the occupation.

There was also the operation carried out on 29 February, 2024, by the released prisoner and a Palestinian Authority police officer Mohammad Yousef Thiyab Manasra, 31, from the Qalandiya camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. He opened fire on a gas station near the Eli settlement, south of Nablus, resulting in the killing of two settlers and the death of the perpetrator. The latest operation was on 30 April, 2024, in which a security officer was injured in a stabbing attack near Bab Al-Sahira Gate in the Old City, carried out by Turkish tourist Hassan Saklanan, 34, who had arrived in the occupied city the day before and was killed by the occupation forces. Following the operation, the occupation forces closed the gates of the Old City and the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque, imposing strict restrictions around the scene where the incident took place.

These examples form a view of the escalation of resistance in occupied Jerusalem and give us an important picture of the occupied territories’ participation in confronting the occupation and thwarting its invasions. The previous data indicated the escalation of these resistance operations following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, despite the strict measures and restrictions imposed by the occupation’s armed forces, in an attempt to crack down on any confrontation in the occupied city and the effects of the Palestinians’ involvement in this confrontation.

-Ali Ibrahim is a journalist. His article appeared in MEMO.

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