Palestine in Pictures: February 2020

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship protest against Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Baqa al-Gharbiyya, 1 February. Human rights groups say the proposal amounts to a permanent state of military occupation and apartheid.

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Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip during February.

Muhammad Suleiman al-Haddad, 16, was shot multiple times in the chest and killed during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron on 5 February.

Israel claimed that the boy had thrown a Molotov cocktail at soldiers.

Defense for Children International Palestine, which reviewed video of the incident, said that while al-Haddad “held what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail at the time he was shot … he was far enough away from Israeli forces, including the soldier that fired at him, that he likely did not pose any imminent threat when he was shot.”

Another young Palestinian, 20-year-old Bader Nafilah, was shot and killed during confrontations with soldiers after allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail in the West Bank village of Qaffin on 7 February.

A report by the journalist Gideon Levy suggests however that Nafilah was shot out of spite after a verbal exchange with a soldier.

Deadly raid

Two Palestinians, including a police officer, were killed during an Israeli home demolition raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on 6 February.

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.

Yazan Munther Khaled Abu Tabikh, 19, was shot and killed during the raid, as was Tariq Ahmad Luay Badwan, 24. Video shows that Badwan, a police officer, was standing at the entrance to a police station, posing no conceivable threat when he was shot in the stomach with live fire.

Also on 6 February, Israeli Border Police shot and killed Shadi Banna, a 45-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, at the gate to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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. Israeli police stated that one officer was injured lightly.

That same day, another Palestinian gunman shot at soldiers near the West Bank city of Ramallah, injuring one in the head.

Soldiers fired at the assailant, who fled; his body was found on 17 February. Hamas identified the man as Fakhr Abu Ziyad Qarat, 51, on its website, but did not explicitly claim responsibility for the shooting.

Another Palestinian, Maher Zaatara, 33, was fatally injured after allegedly approaching police while holding a knife in the Old City of Jerusalem on 22 February.

Two days of intense fire across the Gaza-Israel boundary, and Israeli strikes on Syria, were set off on 22 February, when Israeli forces were shown on video abusing the body of a Palestinian with the mouth of a bulldozer near Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

Islamic Jihad stated that the slain man, Muhammad Ali Hasan al-Naem, 27, was one of its fighters. Israel had fired on al-Naem and another man after they allegedly placed an explosive device near the Gaza-Israel boundary fence.

Israel kills Palestinians in Syria

Ziyad Ahmad Mansour, 23, and Salim Ahmad Salim, 24, both Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk refugee camp who belonged to Islamic Jihad, were among the six people reported killed in Israeli strikes on Damascus during the two days of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad.

Thirteen Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been killed by Israeli forces so far this year or died from injuries sustained previously. No Israelis have been killed in the context of the occupation so far this year.

On 15 February, a Palestinian boy was shot in the face while walking home from school in occupied East Jerusalem. Malik Issa, 9, lost vision in one eye as a result.

Meanwhile, in Syria, two Palestinians were reported to have been assassinated by unknown persons in the south of the country during February.

A Palestinian refugee belonging to a pro-government militia was reported killed in battle west of Aleppo during the month.

Seven more Palestinians belonging to a pro-government militia were reported killed in battle near Idlib as government forces sought to regain the area from foreign-backed armed groups.

An 11-year-old Palestinian girl and her aunt were reported killed by a device that exploded near the headquarters of the Baath Party on a major road to Daraa, southern Syria. The pair had left Daraa refugee camp to get bread when they were killed, as there is no bakery inside the camp.

More than 250 Palestinian children have died in the context of the ongoing conflict in Syria, according to the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria.

A Palestinian rides along a road alongside Israel’s wall in the town of Baqa al-Gharbiyya on 1 February. Located inside Israel, Baqa al-Gharbiyya is among the Palestinian communities that Donald Trump’s “Prosperity for Peace” plan envisions transferring to a Palestinian state, stripping residents of their citizenship.

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Duaa Jneina works on an air-conditioned electronic hat that she invented at her home in Gaza City on 1 February.

Mahmoud Ajjour APA images

Palestinian farmers protest in Gaza City against Israel’s spraying of herbicides on Palestinian crops on 6 February. For the first time since 2018, Israeli planes sprayed herbicide into Gaza over three consecutive days in January, destroying crops along the eastern perimeter of the territory.

Mahmoud Ajjour APA images

Palestinian children herd their family’s livestock in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley on 6 February.

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For the second time, Israeli forces punitively demolished a house belonging to the family of Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Qanbaa in the West Bank city of Jenin, 6 February. Two Palestinians were killed during the raid preceding the demolition.

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Palestinians carry the body of police officer Tariq Badwan during his funeral in the West Bank village of Azoun near Qalqilya on 7 February. Badwan was shot by Israeli forces as he stood at the entrance to a police station during a home demolition raid.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

A relative of Bader Nafilah, killed during clashes with Israeli troops, mourns during his funeral in the West Bank village of Qaffin on 8 February.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during protests against US President Donald Trump’s “Peace for Prosperity” plan, in al-Arroub refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Hebron, on 11 February.

Mosab Shawer APA images

A road sign with the Arabic language painted over is seen in the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank on 14 February.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Palestinians take cover from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a protest in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum on 14 February. Villagers and their supporters protested the Trump administration’s “Prosperity for Peace” plan during the weekly demonstration, which was forcibly dispersed by the Israeli army using tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.

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A billboard in Tel Aviv shows Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, blindfolded and waving his hands in surrender, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, also blindfolded and waving a white flag, with Hebrew text reading “Peace is only made with defeated enemies,” 15 February.

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Israeli forces use heavy machinery to lift a shipping container used as a classroom in the West Bank village of Susiya on 19 February.

Mosab Shawer APA images

A Spur-winged lapwing (Hoplopterus spinosus) rests on a stone in the West Bank city of Tubas on 22 February.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

Photographed on 20 February, Hussam al-Najjar inspects cultured barley he is growing at his home in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, to feed his livestock as feed prices soar in the besieged territory.

Mahmoud al-Hindi APA images

Malik Issa, 9, recovers at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem on 22 February after Israeli police shot him in the head with a sponge projectile a week earlier. The child lost one of his eyes as a result of his injury.

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Muhammad Shtaiwi, 15, photographed at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem on 22 February, emerged from a nearly three-week coma days earlier. The boy was severely injured after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a rubber-coated bullet in Kafr Qaddum on 30 January.

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A Palestinian observes the site of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on 25 February.

Ashraf Amra APA images

A Palestinian demonstrator approaches Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israeli settlements and the US President Donald Trump’s “Prosperity for Peace” plan in the West Bank city of Tubas, 25 February.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

A Palestinian boy walks atop the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli forces on the pretext that it was built without a permit in the West Bank village of al-Walaja, near Bethlehem, on 27 February.

Abedalrahman Hassan APA images

Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters march in the West Bank city of Hebron calling on Israel to open Shuhada Street on 28 February. The protest was held to mark the 26th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, in which American settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinian as they worshipped. After the attack, Israeli forces closed off Shuhada Street to Palestinian residents.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills