Israeli troops yesterday raised the level of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to Palestinian security sources, yesterday afternoon Israeli Special Forces, dressed in women’s clothes entered the Palestinian town of Salfeet. Upon reaching the center of town they opened fire on 23 year old Badr Abdel Raouf Yassin, killing him.
Assassinations have been used by the Israeli government and military throughout the intifada in order to provoke a Palesitnain response when the situation could be described as relatively calm. Yassin was the 207 victim of the Israeli policy of extra-judicial executions, which are illegal under international law; 87 of the victims were not the “targets” of the attack, and 25 of them were children.
Israeli soldiers also attacked and killed a Palestinian youth in the Sheikh Ajleen region to the south of Gaza city. 17 year old Taleb Jumaa Badreya Shamalkh, was working in his fields when Israeli soldiers from the near by settlement of Netzarim opened fire on him, shooting him in the stomach with live ammunition. In a similar event last week Israeli soldiers defending a settlement shot and killed 16 year old Muhammad Tafish while he and friends were out collecting birds. The fact that these types of incidences are so rarely investigated by the Israeli military means that Israeli soldiers act with impunity – making these types of killings all too common.
In Nablus Israeli troops arrested four Palestinians and then dynamited the house from which they were taken. A house was destroyed in Salem village near Nablus, after troops arrested one man and evacuated the other inhabitants. Unarmed confrontations broke out as the troops were withdrawing – youths began to throw stones and the soldiers opened fire on them, injuring at least three Palestinians, one with live ammunition to his abdomen.
In the Issaweih suburb of Jerusalem, Israeli police and border police oversaw the demolishing of four Palestinian homes. Due to a strike in the Jerusalem municipality special personnel were hired to destroy the houses, which were home to 33 people. Residents said that they had tried unsuccessfully to get permission for the building of the houses. According to residents the people from Issaweih own approximately 3,000 dunums of land in the area, but the Israeli authorities permit them to build on only 606 dunums. Serious overcrowding threatens the community which is not permitted to expand to accommodate natural growth. The area, which is between the Jerusalem settlement of Ma’ele Adumin and Jerusalem, has had many houses destroyed in the past; three years ago 36 homes were demolished, and already this year 25 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been demolished adding to the hundreds of Palestinian homes that have been demolished throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.