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ActionAid condemns Israeli Raids on Palestine’s Jenin Refugee Camp

The Rise of Palestinian Women's Leadership in Refugee Camps, Shatha’s speaking at a Bazaar

West Bank - ActionAid shares its grave concern and strong condemnation towards the Israeli military raids on Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank. 

On Monday 3rd July 2023 Israel launched a large-scale military operation against the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp with drones, airstrikes and missiles causing the death of nine Palestinians, eight in Jenin refugee camp and one in Ramallah, and injuring more than 80 others. The death toll is likely to rise due to the number of critical injuries. This raid is the largest in the West Bank since 2002.
This Israeli military escalation targets civilians, mosques, homes, infrastructure, ambulances, and health centres preventing the access of the wounded to medical treatment centres. Israeli military bulldozers have destroyed the roads entering to Jenin refugee camp therefore restricting access to anyone injured from the raids.  
Farah Abu Al-Hiaja a Palestinian activist and a resident of Jenin refugee camp who recently spoke on an ActionAid panel for a UNSCR webinar, said: “Ambulances are prevented from reaching the injured and there is no protection. The situation is painful for all residents of the camp including women, children, youth and the elderly. The residents of the Jenin Refugee camp are calling for the international community to break their silence and to secure protection for Palestinian residents of refugee camps and reach a ceasefire. Electricity, water and internet services have been cut and houses are continually being bombed. No one can enter the camp. Women carry a huge responsibility for protecting their children and families and they are suffering, they are worried all the time about their children, families and houses. Conditions are getting worse, and we are worried about what will happen during the night. Our houses are not prepared for protecting civilians. This is a policy of collective punishment committed by Israel against defenceless civilians.” 
Razmi Farook, Director for Asia and Humanitarian at ActionAid International: “This violence must stop and access to healthcare and medical supplies as well as all other critical services to residents must be secured. 2022 has been the deadliest year for West Bank Palestinians since the United Nations started systematically counting fatalities in 2005. Since the beginning of 2023, the situation has worsened with increased instances of violence, including attacks to Palestinians by settlers, demolitions, and military raids in other refugee camps - all leading to the abhorrent situation in Jenin now. ActionAid calls for the international community to demand Israel as an occupying power, to adhere to the provisions of the Geneva Convention relevant to the protection of citizens and to comply fully with all its international law obligations towards the occupied Palestinians population.” 
Shatha is a resident of the Beit Jibrin Refugee camp in The West Bank and a campaigner for refugees and the environment. Shatha takes part in community work; she has launched an agricultural cooperative called "ٌRehana Cooperative for Agricultural production and processing " which practices hydroponics, giving women and youth opportunities to grow crops to sell at the market and increase their incomes. 
ActionAid recently commissioned Palestinian female photographer Samar Hazboun to tell the stories of female activists and women leaders in refugee camps in the West Bank, including Shatha’s.  
Shatha says: “As Palestinian refugee women inside the camp, we face many challenges. We smell tear-gas almost daily, our youth are arrested without real reasons and judged with administrative detention without trial. We see all these systematic policies practiced against us and we recognize that they have become a routine life. Then, we are asked to live through those policies normally. But it is not a normal situation for us.  
“One of the challenges that we face as a Palestinian woman and refugees living inside the camp is facing the views of other people who live outside the camp towards us as they view us as unproductive and uneducated people. My passion in life is certainly creating change because our message of existence in this life would be meaningless without creating change. Any passion that I have is always connected to change, because change is healthy for us and more positive for our existence, so passion is always linked to positive change.”