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29-year-old Palestinian laborer shot and killed by Israeli soldiers

The father-of-one was heading to his place of work inside Israel via a breach in the separation wall.

Jerusalem24 Noelle Mafarjeh and Nadeen Alshaer – A Palestinian laborer was shot and killed by the Israeli military on Wednesday afternoon as he attempted to make his way through a breach in the separation wall, near the village of Anin west of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

Immediately on the other side of the separation wall is the Palestinian city of Umm Al-Fahm inside Israel.

29-year-old Raafat Ali Abdullah Ayesa was a resident of Sanour, south of Jenin. He had moved there from Jordan four months prior in order to work inside Israel, where wages are considerably higher than in the West Bank.

His wife, daughter, father, and mother all live in Jordan, and crossed the border this morning in order to attend Ayesa’s funeral taking place this afternoon in Sanour.

His mother told Quds News Network in an interview today that “everyone told him to come to the West Bank to work since life is hard [in Jordan].”

“Yesterday, he told us to keep calling him to check on him but we lost contact with him after 2PM. We were informed of his martyrdom at 6PM.”

Raafat Ayesa’s father Ali attends his son’s funeral in Sanour, south of Jenin, on 10 November 2022. [Credit: Oday Daibes]

Severe loss of blood

Khawla Juma, the paramedic who treated and evacuated Ayesa, tells Jerusalem24 that the Red Crescent received instructions from Israeli authorities to retrieve an injured man at Al-Jalama checkpoint north of Jenin just before 2PM on Wednesday.

Juma’s crew, she says, finished treating a patient at Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin city and rushed to the checkpoint, where they were told to go to Salem military base instead, approximately 15km to the west.

When they arrived at the base, Ayesa was inside an Israeli ambulance. He “looked tired”, says Juma, and was already “in critical condition”. He was hit with two bullets in the thigh, suffered from internal bleeding, and was in hypovolemic shock – a condition that develops following a severe loss of blood.

Juma says several factors would have been involved in his leg injury becoming fatal, but that there is “no way to know” at what time exactly he had been shot or how long he was allowed to bleed.

The ambulance crew transferred him immediately to Al-Razi Hospital in the center of Jenin, but the Ministry of Health announced his death shortly after 3:30PM.

Risky routine

Around 130,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza currently have permits to work inside Israel or its illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. An estimated 100,000 additional Palestinians without permits also comprise the labor force.

West Bank laborers without permits often cross from several well-known breaches in the separation wall or fence. The Israeli military is aware of the breaches and the workers are usually allowed to pass through without restrictions. Impromptu, lucrative businesses have even developed alongside the breach areas, such as coffee, food, and cigarette stalls.

The large majority of Palestinian workers without permits make the daily crossing without incident, but some can be detained, shot, beaten, or injured for no specified reason.

Ayesa is one of three Palestinian laborers shot and killed by the Israeli military as they tried to cross the wall in 2022. In May, 27-year-old Mahmoud Aram was shot and killed near Tulkarem, and 53-year-old Nabil Ghanem was shot and killed near Qalqilya in June.

A total of 131 Palestinians, including 31 children, have now been shot and killed by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem in 2022. At least 80 of the casualties were not involved in armed confrontations with or attacks against the Israeli military, settlers or civilians at the time of their death, according to documentation collected by Jerusalem24.

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