Israel kills nine Palestinians so far in November

People pray before someone's corpse on a stretcher adorned with flowers

Palestinians mourn Musab Muhammad Mahmoud Zabin Nafal, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces.

Ahmad Arouri APA images

The first week of November saw nine Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces.

This has been the deadliest year in the West Bank on a monthly average since the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began systematically tracking fatalities in 2005.

Last month, for instance, the Israeli military killed on average one Palestinian every day. As Palestinians in the West Bank continue their resistance against Israel’s occupation, this average shows no sign of letting up.

On 14 November, the Israeli army killed a 15-year-old Palestinian girl in the town of Beitunia near Ramallah.

She was identified as Fulla al-Masalmeh from a town in the southern West Bank.

The Israeli army said a vehicle approached them during a military incursion into Beitunia and refused to stop when ordered. They opened fire on the vehicle, killing al-Masalmeh.

On 9 November, a 29-year-old man was shot and killed by Israeli forces in Jenin.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed his identity as Raafat Ali Abdullah Ayyaseh. He was from the village of Sanur near Jenin.

Initially, Israeli soldiers detained Ayyaseh and then turned him over to the Red Crescent, which transferred him to hospital in critical condition where he was declared dead, Red Crescent ambulance service head Mahmoud Saadi told the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli occupation forces also killed a child overnight on 9 November during an incursion into the city of Nablus.

The Israeli army was escorting a group of right-wing Israeli lawmakers attending an event at Joseph’s Tomb, an archeological site located in the city, which is considered sacred by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The settler visit went ahead even though senior Israeli army officials had reportedly objected. A division commander approved it in the end.

Youths, including Muhammad Hamdallah Hashash, 15, started confronting settlers and Israeli forces.

They placed a homemade explosive object, according to a field investigation conducted by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Mahdi approached the object when it fell out of place, and Israeli forces shot him in the leg 400 meters away.

Even after Mahdi fell, Israeli forces continued to shoot at him and the explosive object, causing the bomb to go off and kill him.

Residents of the area are regularly harassed and provoked by incursions into the site by Israeli settlers under heavy military guard.

Teen killed near Ramallah

On 5 November, Israeli occupation forces killed a teen with seven bullets at an intersection near the town of Sinjil near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Musab Muhammad Mahmoud Zabin Nafal was 18. His body was handed over to Palestinian ambulance medics, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which conducts field investigations.

During the same incident, Israeli forces also wounded his cousin, Nishan Dumar Zabin Nafal, 18.

The Israeli army accused the teens of throwing stones and damaging vehicles.

There were no Palestinian eyewitnesses to the incident, but PCHR concluded that “the fact that Israeli occupation forces handed the corpse of the Palestinian teenager to ambulance attendants constitutes a new crime of extrajudicial execution and assassination.”

Israeli troops routinely use live fire against Palestinians they accuse of throwing stones or Molotov cocktails, even if there are no injuries to Israeli soldiers or civilians.

It is legal under international humanitarian law for an occupied people to resist a military occupation.

Meanwhile, on 3 November, members of the Yamam unit of Israel’s Border Police used a civilian minibus with a Palestinian license plate to sneak into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

They barricaded a butchery where people were readying to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Farouq Jamil Hasan Salameh, a commander of Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

Salameh was fatally injured by gunshots to the chest, abdomen and head when a Yamam member opened fire on people inside the butchery. Others were wounded, and five were arrested.

The Israeli army later cordoned off Salameh’s house in the Jenin refugee camp while Palestinians threw stones at the invaders.

Israel kills child

Israeli forces also shot and killed a 14-year-old boy near the entrance to the camp.

Muhammad Samer Muhammad Khalouf had arrived at the entrance of the camp where others were confronting the Israeli army.

He “allegedly fired a homemade gun at Israeli military vehicles,” according to DCIP, which conducted a field investigation.

Troops opened fire on Muhammad from 100 meters away, hitting him in the chest.

On the same day, a man was killed by Israeli police after allegedly stabbing and moderately injuring an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man as Amer Husam Bader, 20.

Birzeit University, where Bader was a civil engineering student, mourned him “with great pride.”

Two other Israeli policemen were wounded by their colleagues who were shooting at Bader.

The day before, on 2 November, a man accused of ramming a car into and attacking an Israeli soldier with an axe was shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces.

Footage reported to be of the incident shows a white minibus ramming into a person near a small structure and hitting a pole.

Afterwards, the truck driver emerges from the vehicle and appears to attack the soldier with an object. Apparently shot, the driver then falls to the ground.

The soldier was transferred to hospital with serious injuries, the army said.

Shooting protestors

The Israeli military said it wished to avoid publication of documentation from the scene of the attack, which took place at a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ur near Ramallah. But some media circulated footage purportedly showing the attack.

The man accused of carrying out the operation was identified as Habbas Abdelhafith Yousef Rayyan, 54, by the Palestinian health ministry. He was from the village of Beit Duqqu northwest of Jerusalem.

His son, Qusai Rayyan, had been in Israeli prison when the incident took place. Israel detained him in September and he was released days after his father’s killing.

The day after killing Habbas Rayyan, the Israeli military raided his home and shot rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors who had gathered nearby, PCHR reported.

Palestinians threw stones in protest, and the Israeli military responded with live fire and more rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, killing 42-year-old Daoud Mahmoud Khalil Rayyan with a bullet to the chest.

Mustafa Mirar, a resident living nearby, tried to help Daoud Rayyan by pulling him into his yard and calling emergency services. Medical personnel arrived immediately, but the Israeli military denied them entry, PCHR said.

Despite Rayyan’s critical condition, the Israeli army didn’t allow medical crews to take him to hospital until a half hour later.

Despite the Israeli army’s claims that Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails when Rayyan was shot, Mirar and other eyewitnesses told PCHR’s fieldworkers that no Molotov cocktails were seen with protesters or Daoud Rayyan, “who did not pose any danger to the Israeli soldiers that directly targeted him in his chest,” PCHR said.

Elsewhere, an Israeli settler succumbed to wounds sustained when he was reportedly stabbed by a Palestinian on 25 October near the al-Funduq village in the northeastern West Bank.

Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.