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West Bank: Senior Palestinian figure in Jenin dies in Israeli hospital after army raid

Daoud al-Zubaidi succumbs to wounds sustained during an Israeli army raid on 13 May
Daoud al-Zubaidi was a senior figure and former fighter with the Fatah movement in Jenin (Twitter)

A senior Palestinian figure in Jenin died on Sunday morning in an Israeli hospital after succumbing to wounds he sustained during an Israeli raid in the northern occupied West Bank city two days earlier.

Daoud al-Zubaidi was hit in the stomach as an hours-long stand-off unfolded between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters during the raid.

Zubaidi was taken first to a hospital in Jenin but was then transferred to Rambam Hospital in Haifa inside Israel due to the severity of his condition. The hospital confirmed his death in a statement on Sunday morning.

After the family agreed that the 43-year-old be transferred to a hospital in Israel, the army announced that he was under arrest. Upon his death, the army withheld his body.

It was not immediately clear if the was shot during a fire exchange with Israeli troops or if he got caught in crossfire.

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The father of three was a popular figure and former fighter with Fatah movement in Jenin. He had previously served a total of 12 years in Israeli prison.

He is the brother of Zakari Zubaidi, another well-known Palestinian resistance leader who escaped from Gilboa prison last year before being recaptured by Israeli forces.

His mother and another brother, Taha, were killed during the 2002 Israeli military's 10-day campaign in Jenin that laid waste to its refugee camp.  

Escalation in Jenin

On Saturday evening, lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, along with a group of far-right activists, stormed Rambam Hospital to object to Zubaidi’s hospitalisation in Israel and wished that he would "get the electric chair". 

"It is delusional that a terrorist who shot at soldiers and officers is being treated at our expense in an Israeli hospital," Ben Gvir said. 

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The Zubaidi family is highly respected in the Jenin camp, a stronghold of Palestinian resistance which has come under near-daily raids by Israel in recent months.

Jenin fighters had vowed on Saturday that if any harm befell Zubaidi while he was being treated in Haifa they would respond. 

The city has announced a general strike for Sunday following his death, which is likely to increase tensions. 

On Friday, when Zubaidi was wounded, Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp to arrest two fighters from the Islamic Jihad movement, identified as Mahmoud and Anas al-Dabai.

After a four-hour stand-off, in which Israeli troops fired short-range missiles at a house and damaged parts of it, the two brothers were apprehended.

Heavy gun battles took place elsewhere in the camp, which left 13 Palestinians wounded and one Israeli officers killed.  

The Friday raid came only two days after an Israeli soldier shot and killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a similar incursion in the camp. 

Abu Akleh's killing and subsequent assault on her funeral has drawn widespread international condemnation of Israel and highlighted its long-history of targeting Palestinian journalists.

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