Palestinians vow to avenge three gunmen killed near Jenin

Hamas described the killing of the gunmen as a “cowardly assassination.”  

 Palestinian gunmen take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces  during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022.  (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Palestinian gunmen take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022.
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas and other Palestinian groups have pledged to continue the fight against Israel after the killing of three Palestinian gunmen during an armed clash with Israeli security forces near Jenin on Friday night.

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, strongly condemned the killing of the gunmen and repeated its call to the international community to provide protection for the Palestinians.

PIJ said in a statement that the three gunmen – Saeb Abahreh, 30, Khalil Tawalbeh, 24, and Saif Abu Libdeh, 25 – were members of its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades.

“The Zionist enemy committed an aggressive crime against three of our heroic mujahideen [warriors] on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan,” the statement read.

The organization vowed to avenge the death of the gunmen. “As we hold the enemy fully responsible for this crime, we affirm that the blood of our children will not be shed in vain,” it said. “The mujahideen will continue the jihad and resistance and the fight against the enemy, regardless of the sacrifices.”

 Palestinian gunmen take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces  during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022.  (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) Palestinian gunmen take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

Hamas described the killing of the gunmen as a “cowardly assassination.”

“The enemy’s policy of killings and assassination against our people in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem will not provide them with the security that they are looking for, nor will they grant them legitimacy on our land,” Hamas said, also vowing retaliation.

The Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of various armed groups in the Gaza Strip, said that “the blood of the heroic martyrs will remain torches for the revolution and resistance against the usurping Zionist enemy until victory, liberation and the return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

The killings will not stop the Palestinians from pursuing the fight against Israel, the PRC stressed.

 “Our people will continue their struggle until the occupation is defeated,” the group threatened, calling for “a strong and qualitative response to this heinous crime on every part of our occupied land.”

Another Gaza-based terrorist group, the Palestinian Mujahideen Movement, said that “the assassination of the resistance fighters in Jenin is a Zionist crime that will not go without a response. The blood of the martyrs will remain a fuel that increases the resistance against this criminal enemy.”

The group called on Palestinians to “respond quickly and urgently to the repeated crimes of the occupation.” It also called on the Palestinian Authority to halt security coordination with Israel.

In Ramallah, the PA said that it condemns and rejects the “dangerous Israeli escalation, which coincided with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.”

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh said that Friday’s incident came at a time when many parties, led by the US, are working to de-escalate tensions during Ramadan.

“This Israeli policy constitutes a threat and a flagrant challenge to international legitimacy and international law, and the occupation forces must stop all these dangerous practices, which threaten security, stability and calm, in addition to the continued storming by Jewish extremists of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abu Rudaineh said in a statement.

The only way to achieve security is by compelling Israel to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy, he said, and not to take any unilateral measures.

“We also call on the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people,” the PA spokesperson said. “Israel bears the consequences of this dangerous escalation.”

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing of the three gunmen as a “crime,” called on the International Criminal Court to hold those responsible accountable and demanded that Israel hand over their bodies.