Palestinians claim IDF killed 16-year-old girl in Jenin

Soldiers in the arrest operation say they identified no females among the terrorists they were fighting; IDF is investigating.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Palestinian officials claimed Sunday night that IDF soldiers killed a teenage girl during an arrest operation in Jenin, while the troops involved said they saw no females among the terrorists involved in the accompanying shootout.

According to Palestinian media, Jana Zakharna’s body was found on a rooftop after the IDF had already left the area. The reports said that at 11:23 p.m. the girl took pictures of the IDF forces and that she was shot and killed a short time later.

The army said that its forces had come under heavy fire from the rooftops in the area they were searching and returned fire, identifying no woman or girl among the targets.

Channel 12 reported Sunday night that the IDF’s initial investigation of the incident revealed that seven bullets had been found in her body. Such a large number of slugs would be extremely atypical for the way Israeli soldiers shoot at their assailants, the news site said.

Another avenue that is being explored is that Zakarna was helping the terrorists by acting as an observer, considering her reported possession and use of a camera at the time.

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Zakarna’s uncle blames the IDF. In a translated video clip on Ynet, he is seen telling Arab media that his niece had gone to the rooftop of their home when the shooting began outside.

“After two minutes ,the exchange of fire began again, and there were also Israeli sharpshooters on the rooftops,” he said. “The Jews entered the eastern neighborhood and there were wounded. After 20 minutes-half an hour, we yelled at her to return, but Jana didn’t answer. We went up to the roof and saw she was bleeding. Four or five bullets in her head.”

When asked where the sharpshooters were, he answered, “In the building directly across from us.”

Contradicting the IDF, he claimed that no one else could have killed his niece because “the armed men were far away, they were in a different place.”

The body, he continued, was sent to Nablus for an autopsy, “so that we can know for certain that the Jews killed her.”

During the 45-minute operation, the IDF force made the arrest they had come to Jenin to carry out after a tip-off regarding a specific terrorist who was planning to carry out an imminent shooting attack. They also took into custody two of his relatives.

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The soldiers, including some undercover dressed as Arabs, were then attacked with live fire both from above and on the ground, with numerous explosive devices thrown at them from various ranges. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group subsequently announced that it was their men who fought with the IDF.

The Palestinian Authority and Islamic forces in Jenin declared a general strike after Zakarna’s death was announced.

The IDF operates in Jenin almost nightly, as it is one of the hotbeds of terrorism in Judea and Samaria. The army said it would be continuing its investigation of the Sunday night incident.