The battle approaches

Palestinian militants raise their weapons during a memorial service of Mohammed Al-Azizi and Abdul  Rahman Sobh, who were killed by Israeli forces on July 24, 2022, in Nablus, September 2, 2022. (credit: Shadi Jarar’ah / APA Images)
The current moment of resistance across the West Bank is unprecedented. Palestinians are returning to a state of refusal of the settler-colonial reality some would have them ignore.

By Faris Giacaman  | Mondoweiss | Oct 14, 2022

The fate of this moment might end up being decided by whether Palestinian society rallies around the armed resistance groups.

Shu’fat refugee camp is under siege. The Israeli army unleashes its fury in a fervent manhunt for the fighter responsible for killing a soldier at the Shu’fat military checkpoint. In Nablus, an armed resistance group going by the name of Areen al-Usud (“the Lion’s Den”) puts out a call for a mass strike across Palestine. What’s more surprising is that several cities heed the call, despite the fact that it did not originate from any official political party, yet putting a halt to normal life in many cities all the same.

None of this would have been fathomable less than a year ago. In the past few days, Areen al-Usud has declared responsibility for six different shooting operations against Israeli military targets. In Jenin refugee camp, another armed group, the Jenin Brigades, continues to make a stand against the Israeli army during its incursions into the camp.  Just this morning, as the Shu’fat siege entered another day, the army launched a parallel invasion of Jenin, killing one and injuring six others in the months-long effort to stamp out the burgeoning resistance movement there.

The exchange of gunfire with the army has become commonplace across Jenin and Nablus, and every day seems to bring with it another martyr, another round of arrests, another siege in another town. Everyone is saying the same thing — it’s like the early 2000s all over again, when Israel launched a full-scale military invasion of the West Bank to destroy the main havens of the Palestinian resistance.

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