Israeli forces, settlers kill five Palestinians in West Bank

Mourners carry the body of Ahmad Abu Junaid during his funeral in Balata refugee camp on 12 January.

Wajed Nobani APA images
Israeli occupation forces and settlers killed five Palestinians in the West Bank over the course of 48 hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

Israeli police, troops and settlers have killed nine Palestinians so far this year, all in the West Bank. Three of those killed were children.

Two Palestinians were shot and killed in Qabatiya, a town near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, on Thursday. The health ministry identified them as Habib Kumail, 25 and Abdulhadi Fakhri Nazzal, 19.

The two were fatally injured amid confrontations that erupted during a daytime arrest and weapons confiscation raid. The Israeli military claimed that troops came under fire. None were injured, according to media reports.

Israeli media reported that Border Police combatants raided Qabatiya to arrest resistance activist Muhammad Alawneh.

Earlier in the day, Israeli troops shot and killed Samir Awni Harbi Aslan, 41, after they arrested his 17-year-old son in Qalandiya refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Troops failed to provide first aid and let Aslan bleed to death for more than an hour, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The rights group, which interviewed Aslan’s brother, who witnessed the shooting and aftermath, said that soldiers raided the family’s four-story building seeking to arrest Aslan’s son.

After watching soldiers assault the teen at the entrance to the building, Aslan went up to the rooftop of his home along with relatives to watch the troops leave.

A few minutes later, “a number of young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers” while they were leaving the building, according to PCHR. At that point, military snipers stationed on nearby rooftops “heavily and randomly opened fire,” striking Aslan in the chest with a bullet “that exploded inside his body.”

Aslan’s family attempted to evacuate him to a hospital in a car but Israeli soldiers stopped the vehicle, detained Aslan and threatened to shoot anyone who approached.

Video appears to show soldiers kneeling and standing over Aslan and preventing Palestinians from approaching:

Once the troops withdrew from the camp, an ambulance crew evacuated Aslan to a hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival.

The Israeli military told media that “soldiers were ambushed by a group that threw stones at them, and as a result they opened fire,” the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.

Another Palestinian, 21-year-old Ahmad Abu Junaid, was shot in the head and killed during a raid on Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday.

The UN humanitarian monitoring group OCHA said that 75 Palestinians, 16 of them children, were killed in search-and-arrest raids across the West Bank during 2022. There were a total of around 3,500 such raids as of 19 December, according to the group.

During last year, more than 200 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military, police and settlers in the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel, or died from injuries sustained in previous years, according to The Electronic Intifada’s monitoring.

Also on Wednesday, Sanad Samamreh was shot and killed by an Israeli man after allegedly stabbing and moderately injuring a settler in an outpost in the South Hebron Hills.

Israel is advancing plans to forcibly transfer some 1,000 Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills under the pretext that the land will be used for military training.

Last year, Israel’s high court rejected a legal challenge to the state’s plans to turn the area into a military training zone.

One of the Israeli judges who issued the verdict is a settler who was born in the UK and lives in a Jewish-only colony in the West Bank built in violation of international law.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.