More than 130 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 39 children, since Israel began a massive bombing campaign on Monday to retaliate against Palestinian resistance organizations.
Yet Israel is ratcheting up its violence against Palestinians in an effort to crush what is starting to look like a massive uprising sweeping cities and villages all over historic Palestine.
While eyes have been on Gaza, Israeli forces have killed at least 14 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including 11 on Friday.
At least one of those killed was a child.Almost 1,000 more were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, this week as Palestinians took to the streets.
Many more have suffered the effects of tear gas.
Gantz acknowledged that Israel was “seeing an escalation” in the West Bank. He claimed Israel did not want such an escalation, but was “ready for any scenario.”
He also warned that if Palestinians there did not submit to Israeli rule quietly and without resistance, “we’ll be forced to cancel steps that are meant to help the Palestinian economy and society after the year of coronavirus.”
That is effectively a threat of collective punishment, a routine Israeli tactic and a violation of international law.
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teen in the West Bank on Wednesday as he was running away from them.
Rashid Mohammad Rashid Abu Arra, 16, was returning to his village of Aqaba from the northern West Bank city of Nablus early in the morning.
He was with his father, brother and another individual bringing in produce to be sold in the village.
The group encountered four Israeli military vehicles at the village entrance.
Abu Arra and a few others began to throw stones at the back of the military vehicles, eyewitnesses told Defense for Children International Palestine.
A military vehicle began driving in reverse “almost immediately.”
Israeli soldiers then opened the vehicle’s door and fired live ammunition at Abu Arra and others as they attempted to flee.
Abu Arra was hit with two live bullets in the upper and middle back when he was 15 meters away, according to DCIP’s investigation.He continued to run while bleeding from his neck and collapsed in front of his father’s vegetable shop.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital after medics failed to resuscitate him.
PA officer killed
Israeli occupation forces shot and killed on Tuesday a Palestinian Authority intelligence officer at the Tapuach junction near Nablus, also known as the Zaatara checkpoint.Ahmad Daraghmeh was fatally wounded by Israeli fire.
His colleague, Muhammad al-Nubani, was injured, according to Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli military claimed that they had “neutralized” two suspects in a “shooting attack.”
Israeli media later reported that the men had been unarmed and that the shooting of the two men was a “mistake.”
A graphic video from the incident posted by Fatah on Twitter, shows a wounded man lying on the ground covered in blood, occasionally moving his arms and raising his head for at least one minute, 45 seconds while receiving no medical care.
It is unclear if the man on the ground is Daraghmeh, who died, or al-Nubani, who survived.
But a voice speaking in Hebrew, likely the person who filmed the scene, can be heard in the video reveling in the wounded man’s suffering.
“A terrorist is lying here, he’s got a bullet in the barrel,” the person says. “May he lay choking in his own blood, may his name be erased. Ah, so much fun, so much fun. May he die.”
It is also unclear whether the person speaking is a soldier or a civilian.
Protests across the border
Meanwhile in neighboring Jordan, hundreds marched to the Allenby Bridge crossing with the occupied West Bank on Friday demanding the right to return to the lands from which Palestinians were expelled and to show solidarity with Palestinians across the Jordan River.
Jordanian police made arrests and forcibly dispersed people with tear gas.There have also been large protests all week near the Israeli embassy in Amman, demanding expulsion of the ambassador and cancellation of the Israel-Jordan gas deal as well as the 1994 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries. A number of people also moved towards Lebanon’s border with Israel on Friday, some attempting to breach the fence.
Israeli forces opened fire on them, killing 21-year-old Muhammad Tahan.Dozens of Palestinian refugees protested in Deir Ballout refugee camp in northern Syria.
Firing for sport
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers were filmed firing a stun grenade towards the al-Tuwani village in the South Hebron Hills area of the occupied West Bank without any apparent provocation.The video shows five soldiers relaxing on a hillside before two of them walk down the hill slowly showing a lack of urgency. As one soldier is readying to throw the stun grenade, he passes it over to another soldier who does so instead.
In another video from the same scene, a soldier fires his weapon into the air, apparently in the direction of the village, seemingly for sport.
Israel’s military said that its soldiers “used means to disperse demonstrations unnecessarily,” adding that the soldiers would be suspended, according to a reporter with Tel Aviv daily Haaretz.
Despite this, there appeared to be no demonstrations or gatherings of any kind in the video.
Ali Abunimah contributed reporting and translation.