No let up in Israel’s killings of Palestinians

Big crowd of people carries three bodies on stretchers

Mourners attend the funeral of three Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on 8 December.

Ahmed Ibrahim APA images

Israeli occupation forces have killed at least nine Palestinians in the West Bank since the beginning of December. They include a child.

Three Palestinians were killed in an ambush by Israeli soldiers on Thursday.

Early that morning, members of the Yamam unit of Israel’s Border Police infiltrated into the eastern area of Jenin’s old city and deployed snipers on several rooftops.

The snipers opened fire on two vehicles, killing their drivers at a time when “there were no clashes in the area, nor eyewitnesses,” according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The men were identified as Palestinian resistance fighters, Sidqi Sidiq Zakarneh, 29, and Tariq Fawzi Salem al-Damaj, 26.

Although they were members of the resistance, there is no indication that they were engaged in armed action against occupation forces at the time of the Israeli attack, making the killings preplanned extrajudicial executions, according to PCHR.

Soon after the shootings, a Palestinian ambulance and other civilian vehicles arrived at the scene.

As paramedics and civilians attempted to retrieve the two bodies, Israeli snipers opened fire again, fatally shooting a 46-year-old man.

Ata Yasin al-Shalabi a worker from Qabatiya town in Jenin, was “trying to carry one of the dead bodies” from the scene when Israeli forces shot him with seven bullets to the head and abdomen.

Photos of the victims of the Israeli attack were widely shared on social media:

Palestinians were able to retrieve all three bodies before Israeli forces could seize them, as they often do, to use as bargaining chips or to collectively punish Palestinian families by denying them their right to hold a funeral.

The invaders then detained three Palestinians and raided the ministry of culture building on the street.

The same day, Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian child.

Diyaa Muhammad al-Rimawi, 16, was shot near Aboud, a village northwest of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

The boy’s mother helped bear her son’s body during his funeral. Diyaa is the 52nd Palestinian child killed in 2022.

Shooting operation

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Israeli occupation forces fatally shot a 32-year-old Palestinian man they accused of firing at an Israeli military outpost from a moving vehicle.

The incident occurred near Ofra, an Israeli colonial settlement built on lands stolen from Palestinians in the nearby villages of Ein Yabrud and Silwad.

Israeli soldiers fired back and began chasing the vehicle. Mujahed Mahmoud Hamed then exited and fired at them until he was fatally shot by soldiers, according to the Israeli army’s version of events which has not been independently verified.

Hamed previously spent around a decade in Israeli prisons. Palestinians circulated his picture on social media following his killing:

Left to bleed

On Monday, Israeli occupation forces shot a Palestinian baker and left him to bleed to death.

Israeli forces accompanied by undercover mistaravim agents – invaded Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem.

Mistaravim dress up as Palestinians to abduct, injure or infiltrate groups of civilians.

The invaders opened fire on Palestinians protesting the Israeli incursion, fatally injuring 23-year-old Omar Yousef Manna in the face and chest.

Manna’s attackers then examined his body and moved him to a nearby sidewalk. Rather than render first aid, they prevented Red Crescent paramedics from reaching him, according to PCHR.

Israeli forces withdrew from the camp a few hours later and paramedics transported Manna to the hospital. Medical sources said he succumbed to his wounds after bleeding for 20 minutes.

In the aftermath of his killing, Palestinians shared a video of Manna joyfully preparing bread.

Also this month, an Israeli Border Police officer shot and killed a Palestinian man at point-blank range in the town of Huwwara, near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The harrowing killing of Ammar Hamdi Nayef Miflih was captured on video.

Killing in Jenin

On the first day of December, Israeli soldiers killed Muhammad Ayman al-Saadi and Naim Jamal Zubeidi during a night raid in Jenin.

Zubeidi is reportedly related to Zakaria Zubeidi, the most well-known prisoner who in September 2021 escaped from one of Israel’s most fortified prisons. In May, Israeli forces also killed Zakaria’s brother, Daoud Zubeidi.

Al-Saadi was reportedly involved in the seizure of an Israeli teen from a West Bank hospital, as well as the negotiations that led to the return of his body to his family.

That raises the distinct possibility that al-Saadi’s killing was another extrajudicial execution for his alleged role in last month’s incident.

Tiran Ferro, a 17-year-old member of the Druze community and a citizen of Israel, was in the hospital in Jenin following a car crash.

His family said that he was still alive when Palestinian militants disconnected him from medical equipment and took him. But the Israeli army insists the teenager had already died before he was taken.

While it is unclear precisely who took Ferro’s body, Israeli officials told media that “the suspects had been demanding the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel or the bodies of deceased Palestinian terrorists being held by Israel in exchange for Ferro,” according to The Times of Israel.

An unnamed senior official in Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, told Haaretz that “the gunmen staged the kidnapping because they believed Ferro was an Israeli soldier working undercover,” as the Israeli newspaper put it.

If these accounts are true, whoever took Ferro’s body was evidently attempting to emulate the Israeli tactic, approved by Israel’s high court, of taking the bodies of Palestinians to use as bargaining chips.

Following the return of Ferro’s body to his family for burial, Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz tweeted his thanks to the Palestinian Authority for its help.

“This is a basic humanitarian step following a humiliating and inhumane action,” Gantz wrote.

But this is a basic humanitarian step that Gantz is not willing to extend to Palestinians killed by the military occupation forces he commands.

Last month, Palestinian families staged sit-ins across the West Bank to demand that the International Committee of the Red Cross pressure Israel to return the bodies of their loved ones.

As of October, according to human rights group Al-Haq, Israel was withholding more than 100 bodies of Palestinians, “denying their bereaved families from bidding farewell or providing their loved ones with dignified burial.”

Ali Abunimah contributed reporting.

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.