Israel kills 6 Palestinians in 24 hours

Palestinians protest against the Israeli blockade at Erez checkpoint in northern Gaza on 18 September.

Dawoud Abo Alkas APA images

A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli police near the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday night in an alleged stabbing attempt on the start of the Yom Kippur holiday.

Israeli police said that the man charged at a Jewish person, knocking him to the ground, and then ran towards the officers who fired at him while he waved a sharp object.

A Palestinian witness told the AFP news agency that “the alleged attacker was not trying to stab anyone, rather ‘defending himself’ from a Jewish civilian.”

Palestinian media outlets identified the slain man as Muhammad Yousif Alayan from Qalandiya refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah:

Several gunshots can be heard in multiple videos from the scene:

Other videos show Alayan lying motionless on the street as no attempt is made by Israeli police to administer first aid:

Israeli police published a video including security camera footage of the incident from multiple angles. The video also shows the object, apparently a screwdriver, that Alayan was presumably holding when he was shot.

No Israelis were reported injured.

Alayan is the third Palestinian to be killed in the course of an alleged stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem this year.

Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, 28, stabbed and killed a settler near the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City before he was shot dead by police in March.

Last month, Ahmad Mahamid, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, was shot and killed after attempting to stab police in the Old City. His family said that the stabbing wasn’t politically motivated and that Mahamid was mentally ill.

On Sunday, an American man with Israeli citizenship was stabbed and killed by a 16-year-old Palestinian in a West Bank settlement. The Palestinian assailant was shot several times but survived, and is currently being detained in an Israeli hospital.

Four killed in Gaza, child dies from injuries

Also on Tuesday, 24-year-old Muhammad Zaghloul al-Khatib al-Rimawi died after being beaten by soldiers in his home in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces killed four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the span of 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday.

Two Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza on Tuesday.

Gaza’s health ministry identified the slain men as Muhammad Ahmad Abu Naji, 34, and Ahmad Muhammad Muhsin Omar, 20.

The pair were among hundreds who were protesting against Israel’s blockade, now in its 11th year, near the Beit Hanoun/Erez checkpoint.

Protests along Gaza’s eastern boundary with Israel have intensified in recent weeks as indirect talks between Hamas and Israel to end the blockade have stalled and Hamas leaders vowed to break the siege by any means necessary.

Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the southern occupied Gaza Strip on Monday night.

Gaza’s health ministry identified the slain men as Naji Jamil Abu Assi, 18, and Alaa Ziyad Abu Assi, 21.

The Israeli military claimed that the men were among a group of Palestinians who had approached the Gaza-Israel boundary fence and placed a suspicious object nearby.

Israeli occupation forces operate under an apparent shoot-to-kill policy in Gaza’s boundary areas. The exact range of the zone is undeclared but is generally understood to be within 300 meters of the Gaza-Israel boundary.

Israeli forces have killed nearly 200 Palestinians in Gaza so far this year, including approximately 135 shot and killed during Great March of Return protests held along the eastern boundary since 30 March.

Nearly 30 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli soldiers during those protests.

On Saturday, 16-year-old Suhaib Abu Kashif succumbed to injuries he sustained on 3 August, when a live bullet “severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him so he could not breathe on his own,” according to Defense for Children International Palestine.

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during last Friday’s protests, and a 12-year-old child died after being hit on the head by a hard object. The circumstances of his injury remain unclear.

UNRWA school hit by Israeli shell

Also on Friday an artillery shell fired by Israeli forces hit a school run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, in eastern Khan Younis.

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness told The Electronic Intifada that “a preliminary investigation suggests that a 120mm anti-tank shell deflected off an adjacent structure and into an UNRWA elementary school.”

Unexploded ordnance found at the school was removed by the UN Mine Action Group on Tuesday morning.

No children were present at the time of the incident, as it occurred during the evening and on Friday, which is a weekend day in Gaza, but it forced the suspension of classes.

“We are seriously concerned about this incident that could have put hundreds of children at risk if this had occurred during a school day,” Gunness stated. “We call on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, including full respect for the inviolability of UN premises.”

He added that “The damages have been repaired and the school is now functioning once more.”

Emergency funds for Gaza

On Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced the release of $1 million in funds to procure emergency fuel needed to prevent the collapse of Gaza’s hospitals and water and sanitation facilities and to ensure their operation for another month and a half.

“Unfortunately, it comes in the absence of action from the relevant authorities, who have responsibility for the well-being of Gaza’s citizens, or predictable donor support,” UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick stated.

His office said that at least $2 million more is needed to ensure the continued operation of life-saving services through the rest of the year.

“Gaza’s water and sanitation facilities have a near zero stock of emergency fuel, while public hospitals currently have only enough fuel to maintain essential services for a few more weeks, on average, with some facilities facing even greater risks,” OCHA stated.

Sewage is overflowing into streets near a pumping station close to Gaza City.

Fuel rationing means that garbage collection is happening only once every five to seven days, “leaving 40,000-50,000 tons of trash accumulating on the street, posing associated health risks,” according to OCHA.

Gaza’s two million residents endure power outages of up to 20 hours per day after more than a decade of siege, multiple Israeli military assaults and a protracted impasse between the Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank.

Humanitarian funding for the West Bank and Gaza has remained critically low as pledges from donor states have decreased year after year, while the Trump administration in Washington has slashed $500 million in aid to Palestinians.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.