The Druze threaten to storm Jenin amid talks to recover the body of the kidnapped girl

Negotiations to return the body of an 18-year-old Israeli Terrorists kidnapped him From a West Bank hospital that was running late Wednesday night, but with no deal apparently imminent, some members of the Druze community vowed to take action themselves.

Tiran Ferro, from the predominantly Druze town of Daliat al-Karmel, was seriously injured in a car accident in Jenin and taken to a hospital in the Palestinian city due to his serious condition. for him The family claims it Palestinian gunmen disconnected him from life support and took him from the hospital, while initial reports indicated that he was already dead when he was taken.

Unnamed security officials said the suspects are demanding the release of Palestinians detained by Israel or the bodies of Palestinian terrorists held by Israel in exchange for Ferro, who was a high school student.

Various Israeli media reports on Wednesday evening indicated that intense negotiations were underway to secure the release of Ferro’s body, with the participation of those at the highest levels of government and the security establishment in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday that “if Tiran’s body is not returned, the kidnappers will pay a heavy price.”

The Kan public broadcaster quoted Palestinian officials as saying that there was a possible breakthrough in the talks to return Ferro’s body, but Israeli officials rejected any request for a prisoner exchange deal.

Teran Ferro. (politeness)

A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that the suspects had kidnapped Ferro, believing him to be an undercover Israeli soldier.

Former cabinet minister Salah Tarif, a member of the Druze community, told the Ynet news site on Wednesday that he was involved in the negotiations, and that talks were conducted non-stop throughout the day to ensure Ferro’s return.

Tarif said that he had personally communicated with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh about the issue, and that senior officials in the Palestinian Authority were involved: “This issue even reached the head of the Islamic Jihad movement in Beirut,” Tarif claimed.

Ynet quoted on Wednesday evening the head of the Ta’al Front party, MK Ayman Odeh, as saying that he also participated in the negotiations, and that “there are indications [Fero] May be released tonight.”

Anger over the kidnapping intensified among Israeli Druze Wednesday night, as thousands marched in protest and blocked the main highway near Daliat al-Carmel.

More than one member of the community said, according to the Walla news site, that if Ferro’s body is not returned soon, they may try to enter Jenin and retrieve it themselves.

The mayor of Daliat al-Karmel pleaded with local youth not to take the law into their own hands and try to retrieve the body.

“Do not reach the Jenin checkpoint or the city of Jenin,” Rafik Halawi said in a video message posted on social media. “This could complicate matters and change the equation.”

Videos posted online showed hundreds marching through Daliat al-Carmel carrying the Druze flag and chanting. Other posts showed protesters holding Ferro’s photo View his photo On a digital billboard in the city center.

Ferro’s friends called on the entire Druze community in Israel to join them in protest, Channel 12 reported.

One of the demonstrators said: This is the first step. We will turn the country upside down.”

While initial reports from the Israeli military and Palestinian media indicated that Ferro had in fact died when unidentified gunmen kidnapped him, his uncle’s comments on Wednesday morning suggested otherwise.

“They were shooting in the air and shouting in Arabic… No one dared stop them. They cut him off from the machines and threw him into a car,” Edri Ferro told Kan.

Idri said that Tiran “traveled to Jenin to fix his car with a friend,” and was involved in a car accident, adding that he “must have lost control of the car on the way there.”

A deserted street in the West Bank city of Jenin on November 23, 2022 (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Several Palestinian sources indicated that Tiran’s body was being held in the Jenin refugee camp. The Palestinians erected barricades around the city in anticipation of an Israeli army raid.

On Wednesday morning, the Coordinator of Military Liaison with the Palestinians, the coordinator of government actions in the occupied territories, announced the closure of the Jalameh and Salem checkpoints in the northern West Bank until further notice after the incident.

The checkpoints are mostly used by Israeli Arabs who travel to the Palestinian city of Jenin and the surrounding area for business or leisure, and by Palestinians who need to travel to Israel for work. The closure is expected to cause economic losses in the Jenin area, which has already been the focus of Israel’s months-long anti-terror campaign.

Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that the Al-Jalama and Salem crossings would be closed to the transportation of goods, starting Thursday morning. The statement issued by the Office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories added that the Israeli security apparatus “demands the Palestinian Authority to return the body of the Israeli youth to his family in Israel.”

AFP and Emmanuelle Fabian contributed to this report.

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