Israeli forces shot and killed 23 Palestinians during April – nearly one fatality per day during the month.
Ahmad Yunis al-Atrash, 29, was shot in the head and killed during confrontations with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on 1 April.
The following day, Israeli forces ambushed and killed three Palestinian fighters belonging to the military wing of Islamic Jihad during a raid in the Jenin area in the northern West Bank. Israeli authorities claimed that the Palestinians opened fire at their attackers, who fatally shot all three of them.
The slain men were identified as Saeb Abahrah, 30, and Khalil Tawableh, 24, and Saif Abu Labdeh.
Another Palestinian, 23-year-old Ahmad Naser al-Saadi, was killed by Israeli forces while defending Jenin refugee camp during an Israeli raid on 9 April. Al-Saadi was reportedly a field commander with the Jenin brigade of Islamic Jihad.
Israeli forces had entered the camp to raid the home of Raed Hazem, 28, who was killed in an alleged shootout with Israeli police several hours after he shot and fatally injured three Israelis at a bar in Tel Aviv on 7 April.
Israeli authorities plan to demolish homes belonging to the families of Hazem and Dia Hamarsheh – both Jenin-area residents killed by Israeli forces after allegedly carrying out fatal attacks in Israel.
Punitive home demolition is a form of collective punishment that Israel uses against the families of Palestinians accused of violence but never against the families of Jews.
On 10 April, Israeli occupation forces fatally shot 19-year-old Muhammad Ali al-Ghunaim in the Palestinian town of al-Khader near Bethlehem.
That same day, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Ghada Sabateen, 44, after she allegedly acted in a “suspicious” manner as she approached them in Husan village near Bethlehem. Video of the incident shows that soldiers fired on the unarmed widow and mother of six at point blank range.
Israeli forces killed a second Palestinian woman on 10 April. Soldiers shot 24-year-old Maha Kathem al-Zaatari near the Ibrahimi mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron, alleging that she had stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli paramilitary Border Police officer.
Eyewitnesses reported that soldiers prevented medical workers from reaching the woman for around half an hour, according to the UN monitoring group OCHA.
Al-Zaatari’s body, as well as that of Hazem, is being held by Israel as part of its policy of confiscating the bodies of Palestinians slain in the course of alleged attacks on Israelis.
A fourth Palestinian – 16-year-old Muhammad Qassim – was shot in the stomach and killed by Israeli forces during a raid in Jenin on 10 April.
Israel’s claim that the boy opened fire on Israeli soldiers was contradicted by an eyewitness who told Defense for Children International-Palestine that Qassim was shot without warning from the back of a military vehicle while the boy was running behind it.
Soldiers in the military vehicle were reportedly pursuing a car in which members of Tel Aviv shooter Raed Hazem’s family were traveling.
Israeli mistaken for Palestinian killed
Also on 10 April, an Israeli military commander shot and killed a man in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon who was allegedly trying to steal a soldier’s weapon.
The man “neutralized” by the army turned out to be a Jewish Israeli citizen who had escaped from a psychiatric ward, not a Palestinian.
A Palestinian was killed by police in Ashkelon two days later. Abdullah Srour, 40, allegedly stabbed and lightly wounded an officer who approached him for acting “suspiciously.”
Srour, from the West Bank city of Hebron, was working on a construction site in Israel.
The police officer said that he encountered Srour while looking for Palestinians in Israel without permits.
The following day, Muhammad Assaf, a 34-year-old lawyer, was driving his nephews to school in Nablus in the northern West Bank when they encountered confrontations between Palestinians and soldiers near Joseph’s Tomb.
Assaf, who had stepped out of his car, was shot fatally in the heart by a soldier who fired three rounds out of the back of an army jeep traveling at a high speed.
“The bullet apparently exploded within his body and wreaked devastation,” the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.
That same day, Omar Muhammad Alayan, 20, died after he was shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers during an arrest raid in Silwad village near Ramallah in the central West Bank.
Also on 13 April, 16-year-old Qusai Fuad Hamamra was shot and killed by Israeli forces after allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail in Husan, where Ghada Sabateen was shot dead three days earlier.
The teen “sustained multiple gunshot wounds from a distance of around 20 meters,” according to Defense for Children International-Palestine, which added that “at least one bullet struck him in the head.”
Israeli troops prevented Palestinian paramedics from treating the wounded teen, the rights group added.
On 14 April, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians – Shas Kamamji, 29, and Mustafa Abu al-Rub, 30 – near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Kamamji was killed in Kafr Dan village when Israeli forces opened fire at a crowd of people throwing stones at military vehicles.
Shas Kamamji is the brother of Ayham Kamamji, one of six Palestinians who escaped from Gilboa prison inside Israel last September in what was viewed as a devastating blow to the reputation of Israel’s security apparatus.
Ayham Kamamji remained at large for nearly two weeks before being rearrested in Jenin.
After Israeli forces withdrew from the area early on 14 April, Mustafa Abu al-Rub was found with a live bullet wound to the chest and pronounced dead upon arrival to hospital.
“No eyewitnesses were available to speak about the circumstances of his death,” the Palestinian Center for Human Rights stated.
The following day, 17-year-old Shawkat Abed died from his injuries after being shot in the stomach by Israeli forces in Kafr Dan.
Shawkat Abed is the eighth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces so far this year, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.
Also on 14 April, Fawaz Hamayel, a 45-year-old father of three, died from his injuries after being shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers in Beita village near Nablus the previous day.
Hamayel is the eighth Palestinian killed in Beita since Jewish settlers established Evyatar, an outpost on land belonging to the village, in May last year. Most were killed as Israel violently repressed weekly protests against the settlement outpost, where the Israeli military maintains a permanent presence.
Born under siege, killed by sniper
On 19 April, 18-year-old high school student Hanan Khadour succumbed to her injuries two weeks after she was shot by an Israeli sniper while riding in a taxi in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
The young woman was born prematurely while the Jenin area was under siege in 2002. Her father risked death to bring her from the village doctor’s clinic to a hospital where she could be incubated.
Lutfi Labadi, also 18, died from his wounds on 22 April, four days after being shot in the head during an alleged exchange of gunfire with Israeli troops in Yamoun village near Jenin.
Another young Palestinian, 20-year-old Ahmad Ibrahim Oweidat, was shot in the head and killed by soldiers during confrontations in a Jericho refugee camp overnight 25 April.
Likewise, 18-year-old Ahmad Massad was shot in the head and killed during confrontations with raiding Israeli soldiers in Jenin refugee camp on 27 April.
On 29 April, an Israeli security guard was shot and killed at a post at the entrance to Ariel settlement in the West Bank. Two Palestinians who Israel claims carried out the attack were arrested the following day.
It was the first Israeli fatality in the West Bank so far this year. Fifteen people were killed in Israel in alleged attacks by Palestinians during the same period.
On 30 April, Israeli forces shot Yahya Adwan, 27, in the chest during a military operation in the town of Azzun, near Qalqilya in the West Bank. Israel claimed that soldiers fired on “suspects who had thrown firebombs at them,” Reuters news agency reported.
More than 50 Palestinians have been shot and killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Israel since the beginning of 2022 or were fatally injured by other means during the course of police and military operations in the context of the occupation.
Al-Aqsa under attack
Also during April, Israeli police attacked Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque while it was filled with Ramadan worshippers on Friday, 15 April, injuring more than 150 people, six of them seriously, and arresting more than 400.
Israeli forces fired live bullets, tear gas and stun grenades inside the mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported.
As tensions and violence rose in Jerusalem and the northern West Bank, Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired two rockets towards Israel, which launched air strikes in Gaza in response, causing no injuries.
Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas’ politburo, said at the end of April that the “big battle” for al-Aqsa would begin after Ramadan, which ended on 1 May, if Israel “does not cease its aggression” at the holy site.
He called on the United Arab List to withdraw from Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett’s shaky coalition, saying that “providing a safety net to a government that is harming al- Aqsa is an unforgivable crime.”