Palestine in Pictures: December 2022

Shoemaker Nabil Khuraim, 70, at his workshop in the Old City of Jerusalem on 1 December. Khuraim has been working in the sewing profession for more than 50 years inside Khan al-Zeit, one of the markets in the Old City.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Israeli forces shot and killed 11 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian man in Kafr Qassim, a Palestinian city in Israel, during December.

The year 2022 saw the highest number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the second intifada nearly two decades ago.

According to The Electronic Intifada’s monitoring, 207 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military, police and settlers in the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel during the year, or died from injuries sustained in previous years.

Of those fatalities, 40 occurred in Gaza, eight were in Israel and the remainder in the West Bank. They include a Palestinian great-grandfather who died of a heart attack while being arbitrarily detained, an activist who was struck and killed by a truck driver during a car confiscation operation in the South Hebron Hills, and a man who died after inhaling tear gas fired by the military, all in early January.

Additionally, 13 Palestinians were killed by rockets fired towards Israel that landed short in Gaza or in unclear circumstances during Israel’s three-day offensive in the territory in August.

The UN humanitarian monitoring group OCHA recorded some 10,000 Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza during 2022, as of 19 December.

And in September, a Palestinian in the West Bank died from injuries sustained during a raid on Nablus’ Balata refugee camp in which he was reportedly killed by Palestinian gunmen who apparently mistook him for undercover Israeli forces.

Thirty-one people in Israel and Israelis in the West Bank were killed by Palestinians during the year, according to The Electronic Intifada’s monitoring. Around two-thirds of those fatalities occurred in Israel and the rest took place in the West Bank.

Deadly raids

December’s deadly violence began on the first day of the month, when Naim Jamal al-Zubaidi and Muhammad Ayman al-Saadi, reportedly local leaders of Islamic Jihad in their mid-twenties, were killed during a raid in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank.

Israel claimed that al-Saadi was involved in the abduction of the body of an Israeli citizen who had died in a car crash the previous month and “directed the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to release it,” according to Israeli media.

The following day, Israeli forces shot and killed Ammar Hamdi Nayef Miflih at point blank range in the town of Huwwara near the West Bank city of Nablus. Media reports gave his age as 22 or 23.

Israel claimed that the shooting was in response to a stabbing attack, but video appears to show that Miflih was not holding anything in his hands when he was shot and killed.

Israeli forces prevented paramedics from providing medical care to Miflih and confiscated his body, which was returned to Palestinians on 29 December.

Israel withholds the bodies of Palestinians killed during attacks and alleged and attempted attacks so that they may be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations.

On 5 December, Israeli forces shot Omar Yousif Manna, a 23-year-old baker, in the face and chest during confrontations that erupted during a raid in Dheisheh refugee camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces prevented paramedics from reaching Manna and left him to bleed to death.

On 7 December, Israeli forces shot and killed Mujahed Mahmoud Hamed after he allegedly fired at a military outpost from a moving vehicle near Ofra, a settlement built on land belonging to the villages of Ein Yabrud and Silwad near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The following day, Israeli forces raided Jenin and 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. 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, as paramedics and civilians attempted to retrieve the slain men’s bodies, Israeli snipers opened fire again, striking 46-year-old Ata Yasin al-Shalabi, a worker from nearby Qabatiya who was attempting to evacuate one of the bodies when he was shot in the head and abdomen, killing him.

Children killed

Also on 8 December, Israeli forces shot and killed Diyaa Muhammad al-Rimawi, 16, near Aboud, a village northwest of Ramallah.

Another child, 15-year-old Jana Majdi Issam Assaf, was shot and killed while standing on her rooftop during an Israeli raid on 11 December. Amir Cohen, the chief of Israel’s Border Police, saluted the officers who shot her.

Jana was the second girl killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2022 and the 27th killed in the territory since 2000, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.

The rights group said that 36 Palestinian children were shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank during 2022. A total of 53 children were killed in the West Bank and Gaza during the year, according to the rights group.

Defense for Children International-Palestine said that it “documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between 5-7 August” during Israel’s offensive in Gaza, adding that the group “continues to investigate several incidents.”

OCHA, the UN humanitarian monitoring group, said that 75 Palestinians, 16 of them children, were killed in search-and-arrest raids across the West Bank during 2022. There were a total of around 3,500 such raids as of 19 December, according to the group.

On 22 December, Israeli forces shot and killed Ahmad Daraghmeh, a 23-year-old football player from the town of Tubas near Nablus. Israel claimed that troops came under fire while escorting Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, a site of regular deadly violence.

Three Palestinians, including two children, were killed in separate incidents at the holy site in November.

A total of five Palestinians were killed and at least 550 injured by Israeli forces while accompanying Jewish worshippers to the site during 2022, according to UN monitoring.

On 23 December, Israeli police shot and killed 23-year-old Naim Badir after he allegedly opened fire toward them and attempted to run them over with a car in Kafr Qassim, a Palestinian village in Israel.

Israeli authorities released a compilation of security camera footage that it said shows Badir aiming a gun at police and reversing a car towards a group of officers. Two officers were lightly wounded in the incident, according to media reports.

The man’s family said that Badir was killed in “cold blood.”

Demolitions and arrests

Israeli forces demolished or seized more than 900 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank during 2022, according to OCHA, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians. At least 86 of those structures were funded by the European Union, OCHA said.

OCHA also recorded some 750 settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, 160 resulting in casualties and 600 resulting in property damage.

HaMoked, an Israeli human rights group, said that as of January 2023, Israel was holding more than 850 Palestinians without charge or trial under administrative detention orders, more than 350 more than were being held one year previously.

In addition, Israel was holding some 2,400 Palestinian prisoners and an additional 1,400 Palestinian detainees awaiting trial.

HaMoked said that Israel’s treatment of so-called security inmates “violates their rights to equality, dignity, family life, education and more, in contravention of international law.”

Addameer, a Palestinian human rights group, said that Israeli occupation forces arrested around 7,000 Palestinians during 2022. More than 3,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem were arrested, the highest among any city.

“Notably, around 106 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were arrested, including 64 Gazan fishermen,” Addameer stated.

Of the 4,700 Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer, are 29 women, 150 children, five legislators, 15 journalists and “330 detainees who have spent more than 20 years in prison.”

“Furthermore, there are 552 detainees who are sentenced to life imprisonment, the highest of which is Abdullah Barghouthi, with 67 life sentences,” Addameer said.

“As for solitary confinement, 70 Palestinian prisoners were punitively put in isolation throughout this year, of which 40 are still held in isolation.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s most openly extreme-right and fascist government to date was sworn in on 29 December, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging to advance formal annexation of West Bank land.

“The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right over all areas of the land of Israel,” Netanyahu stated in his outline of the new government’s guiding principles.

On 30 December, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory.”

Israeli occupation forces and armed settlers take position as Palestinians protest settlement outposts in Beit Dajan, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on 2 December.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

Palestinian Christians celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree in Jerusalem on 3 December.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Israeli military forces dismantle the Karni crossing east of Gaza City on 5 December. The Israeli military on Sunday began to demolish the cargo terminal, closed in 2011, to fortify its defenses.

Dawoud Abo Alkas APA images

Palestinians take part in the funeral of Omar Manaa, 22, shot dead by Israeli forces during a night raid, in Dheisheh refugee camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 5 December.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Palestinians rally in solidarity with political prisoners held by Israel in front of the Red Cross office in Gaza City on 5 December.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

Palestinian fans celebrate in Gaza City after Morocco’s victory over Spain in the World Cup on 6 December.

Ali Hamad APA images

Issa Kassissieh, dressed as Santa Claus, poses for a picture as he rides a camel at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on 6 December.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Palestinians mourn Tariq al-Damaj, 26, killed in an Israeli army raid, during his funeral in Jenin on 8 December. Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in their latest deadly raid on the flashpoint city in the northern West Bank.

Ahmed Ibrahim APA images

Palestinians mourn during the funeral of 16-year-old Dia al-Rimawi, shot by Israeli forces the previous day, in the village of Beit Rima, west of the West Bank city of Ramallah, 9 December.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Palestinians in East Jerusalem watch a live broadcast at the start of the World Cup semifinal match between Morocco and France played in Qatar, 14 December.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Mourners in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, attend the funeral of eight Palestinians who drowned when a ship carrying migrants sank off the coast of Tunisia in October, 18 December.

Youssef Masoud APA images

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian brothers who were struck and killed by an Israeli motorist near the Israeli checkpoint of Zatara during their funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 18 December.

Ahmad Arouri APA images

Palestinian-French human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri, arrives in Paris after Israel deported him following months of detention without charge or trial, 18 December. Long persecuted by Israel, Hamouri’s Jerusalem residency was revoked the previous month by Israel, which has revoked the residency rights of some 15,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites since 1967.

Anne Paq ActiveStills

A Palestinian artist Ola Barakat, 23, produces stop motion animation in Gaza City on 19 December.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

The nine-branched menorah with a lighting system is projected onto the walls around the Old City in Jerusalem, due to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights, on 25 December.

Saeed Qaq APA images

A Palestinian inspects a vehicle that was set on fire by settlers in the village of Burin after Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a Jewish settler’s car near Huwwara, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, 26 December. No injuries occurred.

Nasser Ishtayeh SOPA Images

Palestinians protest in front of the offices of the Red Cross in Gaza City following the death of Nasser Abu Humaid in Israeli prison, 27 December. Abu Humaid died after years of medical negligence and after being diagnosed with lung cancer last year.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Israeli settlers, protected by police, break into a plot of land owned by the Greek Orthodox Church in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on 27 December. Settlers have been trying to take over land for a while, which prompted the Sumrin family, which leases the plot, to go to court to stop the takeover. The WAFA news agency, citing local sources, reported that the settlers came to the land and started to fence it before a court ruling was issued.

Saeed Qaq APA images

A model of the Dome of the Rock sits atop a display of zaatar in the Old City of Jerusalem on 28 December.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Protesters rally against the new extreme-right Israeli government outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on 29 December.

Nir Alon ZUMA Press Wire