Israel kills four Palestinians in West Bank

Palestinian police carry the body of their colleague Tariq Badwan, killed by Israeli soldiers, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin on 6 February.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

Israeli occupation forces killed four Palestinians in the West Bank, including Jerusalem’s Old City, over Wednesday and Thursday.

A fifth Palestinian, Khalil al-Adham, died on Thursday from his injuries after being shot by Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, the health ministry in the territory reported.

Several Israeli soldiers were injured in three attacks on Thursday.

Israeli forces say they are pursuing a gunman who opened fire on a group of soldiers outside a settlement near Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, earlier in the day. One soldier was hospitalized for light injuries to his head.

Before dawn on Thursday, a motorist drove into a group of soldiers in West Jerusalem, injuring 12 of them, one seriously. Israel arrested the alleged attacker, a 25-year-old resident of occupied East Jerusalem, late Thursday.

The soldiers, belonging to the Golani Brigade, “were visiting Jerusalem ahead of an early morning swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall,” Israeli media reported.

Soldiers in the Golani Brigade have incited the murder of Palestinians on social media and are suspected of perpetrating war crimes in Gaza.

Later on Thursday, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead after opening fire at Israeli Border Police officers outside the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli media named the slain Palestinian assailant as Shadi Banna, 45, from Haifa.

Security camera footage released by Israel shows Banna approaching a group of officers belonging to the paramilitary police force and opening fire with a pistol:

The video appears to show the moment Banna is shot. He is still running from the scene when the clip of the incident ends.

Israeli police stated that one officer was injured lightly.

Deadly home demolition raid

Two Palestinians, including a police officer, were killed during an Israeli home demolition raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin early Thursday.

Occupation forces raided the city to destroy for the second time a home belonging to the family of Ahmad Qanbaa, a Palestinian imprisoned by Israel over his alleged role in a shooting attack that killed a settler two years ago.

“The military first demolished the building in 2018, but it had since been rebuilt,” Israeli media reported.

Eight people, including two children, lived in the building that was razed on Thursday, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Since late 2015, Israel has accelerated the demolitions of the family residences of Palestinians alleged to have attacked Israelis.

Such collective punishment measures are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel has ratified.

They also highlight Israel’s institutionalized racism, since such punishments are never meted out against the families of Israeli Jews who attack Palestinians.

Palestinians gathered at the scene of the demolition and confronted occupation forces. The military used live fire, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas against protesters.

Yazan Munthir Khalid Abu Tabikh, 19, was shot in the chest and killed immediately, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights stated.

Photos of Abu Tabikh on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca were circulated by Palestinian media outlets after his death:

Video shows the shooting of the second Palestinian fatally wounded during the raid:

The footage shows Tariq Ahmad Luay Badwan, 24, standing in a doorway to a police station, posing no conceivable threat, when he collapses. Shot in the stomach with live fire, he died in hospital later in the day.

Teenager killed in Hebron

The fourth Palestinian killed in the West Bank this week, 16-year-old Muhammad Suleiman al-Haddad, was shot multiple times in the chest during a protest in the city of Hebron on Wednesday.

Israel claimed that al-Haddad had thrown a molotov cocktail at soldiers.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported that al-Haddad was shot by an Israeli army sniper stationed on a roof near a checkpoint at Hebron’s Shuhada Street.

“The shooting was reported during a protest organized by dozens of young men, who threw stones at [Israeli occupation forces] and burned tires,” the human rights group stated.

The teenager was the first Palestinian killed since the release of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan last Tuesday.

Israeli forces have suppressed more than 60 protests against the Trump plan in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

“As a result, dozens of civilians were shot and injured with live and rubber bullets in addition to many others [injured] due to tear gas inhalation,” the group stated.

Airstrikes and collective punishment in Gaza

Meanwhile, Israel targeted what it called Hamas positions in Gaza early Thursday after Palestinians in the territory reportedly launched mortar shells and balloons carrying flammable materials toward Israel.

No injuries were reported following Israel’s airstrikes or as a result of the mortar fire and balloons from Gaza.

Israel further reduced the permitted fishing zone off of Gaza’s coast on Wednesday “in light of continued rocket fire and incendiary balloons,” COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military occupation, stated.

Israel announced changes in access to Gaza’s coastal waters 20 times last year. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has treated the Gaza fishing industry as “a lever for pressure” – a phrase used by the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz – on the two million Palestinians living in the territory, which has been under a severely tightened blockade since 2007.

Frequently changing restrictions on fishers “cause deliberate harm to one of Gaza’s most vulnerable and important sectors in response to actions that no one is claiming are in any way connected to fishermen in the strip,” the human rights group Gisha stated Thursday.

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Tragic. Violence plays into the hands of the Israelis. Their military capacity far outstrips their size as a country, for the obvious reason it isn't theirs but the USA's. How do the Palestinians resist without putting themselves in harm's way? The answer is, we have to do it. The matter won't be solved in Palestine but in the wider world and we, who have the freedom denied the Palestinians have a moral duty to fight their cause. Israel is viable in its present form only as client state of the US. The US is changing. In recent polls, some 40% + of young people were relaxed to define themselves as socialists. The Community Wealth Building movement is gaining ground (see thenextsystem.org). If Israel can't rely on the billions of dollars which have kept it afloat, it will have to change. Those dollars are in question if the US shifts leftward. The more or less world consensus in favour of Israel has to be broken. Trump has helped. It's easy to argue against his "peace" deal. Everyone can see it's a re-working of South African apartheid and the Palestinians are to be confined to new bantustans to provide a pool of cheap labour for Israel and collaborating Palestinians. We need to overcome the nervousness about criticism of Israel and Zionism for fear of accusations of anti-Semitism. The argument is easy to make: hatred of Jews as Jews or or of Judaism is vile; but Zionism is a political doctrine and must be subject to thorough democratic scrutiny. When it is, it collapses beneath its false premises. The fight is ours. The Palestinians must rely on us and keep themselves as safe as they can.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.