By Mohammad Najim
JENIN, January 18, 2018 (WAFA) – At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.
According to Ahmad’s mother after all this melee has ended on Thursday morning, her son had actually left the house about 30 minutes before the army arrived in the area. Yet, the army opened fire at the house when Ahmad failed to come out, even though he might not have been in the house. Some neighbors even reported heavy exchange of gunfire in the area.
Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
“They asked me to take off my coat,” said Ahmad’s mother as she narrated to reporters the horrifying moments she and her family had to live through at night. “Then, the soldiers started to beat my son Mohammad as they yelled at him asking, ‘Where is your brother, Ahmad.’ I told the soldiers Ahmad had left the house half an hour ago, but they said ‘you are a liar’,’’ she said.
She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib.
“If it was my house then I would say, fine,” she said. “But what did my son Sohaib do for his house to be demolished, too,” she said angrily.
As a matter of fact, after the army had completed its mission and left the neighborhood in the morning hours, the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced in the morning that Ahmad Nasr was killed in the attack, but his family ruled out the report and said the corpse which was found at the home and taken by the army belongs to someone else and not Ahmad.
Hours later, the Ministry corrected its earlier report and identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.
The Israeli army had actually taken the body away and the Palestinians had no way to exactly identify the corpse other than the information they would get from the Israeli army.
The army also took away another young man was also reportedly injured by their gunfire during the attack.
Israeli media accused Ahmad Nasr Jarrar of being behind an attack earlier in the month near Nablus in the northern West Bank that left an Israeli settler dead. Israel has been carrying out intensive search for the alleged attacker or attackers since the incident, raiding villages, towns and cities, blocking roads and detaining people. They have also dismantled and seized every surveillance camera placed in homes, shops and businesses in the northern West Bank.
With Ahmad Nasr Jarrar apparently not yet in Israeli hands, the manhunt for him is expected to continue.