The Electronic Intifada 3 July 2022
Israeli forces and settlers killed 13 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during June.
On the first day of the month, soldiers shot and killed Ghufran Warasneh, 31, at the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank.
The Israeli military claimed that the woman tried to stab a soldier but Palestinian eyewitnesses denied there was any attack “and video footage showed no weapon in her possession,” the UN monitoring group OCHA stated.
Warasneh was reportedly on the way to her first day of work as a news presenter at a local radio station when she was killed.
Israeli forces fatally injured four Palestinians the following day, 2 June.
Bilal Kabha, 24, was shot and killed during a home demolition raid in Yabad village in the northern West Bank. Kabha was reportedly engaged in a firefight with occupation forces when he was shot, Israeli media reported.
Soldiers invaded the village to demolish the home of Dia Hamarsheh, who killed four people in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak in March. Hamarsheh was killed in a shootout with police shortly thereafter, during which an officer was fatally injured.
The punitive demolition, the sixth so far this year, displaced three families, according to OCHA.
A second man, 37-year-old Samih Amarneh, died on 11 June from injuries sustained during the home demolition operation.
Also on 2 June, Israeli forces shot 16-year-old Odeh Muhammad Odeh Sadaqa while he was walking with friends in al-Midya village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
The teen was “struck in the back with a single bullet that struck his heart and exited through his chest,” Defense for Children International-Palestine stated.
Soldiers fired on Palestinians who attempted to come to the boy’s aid. An Israeli military spokesperson claimed that Sadaqa and two others threw Molotov cocktails at occupation forces near Israel’s wall in the West Bank.
That same day, Israeli forces shot and killed Ayman Ahmad Muhaisen, 29, while he was standing in front of his home during an arrest raid on Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
While the troops were withdrawing, Israeli soldiers fired on Muhaisen without warning, hitting him in the chest. The slain man was a bystander who wasn’t participating in the confrontations, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
Another Palestinian, 27-year-old Mahmoud Fayiz Abu Ayhour, was shot and killed by soldiers during a raid in Halhul, a town near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, on 9 June.
Abu Ayhour was fatally injured while Palestinians confronted soldiers raiding a currency exchange office, where Israeli forces confiscated around $300,000.
On 17 June, Israeli forces extrajudicially executed three Palestinians in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
The three men – Yusif Naser Salah, 23, Laith Salah Abu Srour, 24, and Baraa Kamal Lahlouh, 24, were killed when Israeli forces surrounded their vehicle and directly targeted them.
Eight Palestinians were injured, one of them critically, during protests that erupted after the extrajudicial killings.
An Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the three slain men had opened fire at troops from the Golani Brigade while the latter were “searching for weapons in the city,” the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.
The military claimed it found weapons in the car in which the three were killed.
The Jenin incident echoes the killing of three Palestinians when Israeli forces intercepted the car in which they were traveling in Nablus in February and reportedly fired some 80 bullets at the targeted vehicle.
According to OCHA, “Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have shot and killed 26 Palestinians, including six children, during search-and-arrest operations across the West Bank; 11 of the fatalities were in Jenin refugee camp.”
Two days later, on 19 June, Nabil Ahmad Salim Ghanim, a 53-year-old father of four, was shot and killed while attempting to cross Israel’s wall in the West Bank town of Qalqilya.
Witnesses said he was likely attempting to enter Israel in search of work. Israel held his body for four days before allowing the man’s family to bury him.
On 21 June, Ali Hasan Harb, 27, was stabbed and killed by a settler while trying to defend his land from colonization in Iskaka village in the central West Bank.
Settlers had arrived on village land to establish an outpost near Ariel, a major Jewish-only colony.
Palestinians claimed that Israeli police were at the scene but the suspected perpetrator wasn’t arrested until the following day. Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinians from reaching Harb to render aid, the slain man’s cousin told media.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed a second child during the month on 24 June.
Muhammad Abdullah Salah Suleiman, 16, was shot and left to bleed by occupation forces deployed near Route 60, south of the central West Bank village of Silwad.
“It is unclear exactly where on his body Muhammad sustained gunshot wounds because Israeli authorities have not yet released his body to Palestinian authorities or to Muhammad’s family,” Defense for Children International-Palestine stated the following day.
Sixteen Palestinian children have been shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to the rights group.
On 29 June, Muhammad Maher Marei, an Islamic Jihad fighter, was killed while confronting Israeli soldiers during a raid on Jenin.
Wissam Baker, the head of the Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, told media that “this is what we’ve been getting used to in the recent raids on Jenin governorate – no raid takes place without lethal injuries. Even those that are wounded come with critical injuries.”
More than 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers, police and settlers during the course of Israeli military and police operations since the beginning of the year.
Additionally, on 1 June, Yasir al-Masri, a 41-year-old Islamic Jihad commander, died of wounds sustained during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in May 2021.
Twenty people in Israel and Israelis in the West Bank have been killed in the context of the occupation since the beginning of the year.
15 years of Gaza blockade
Meanwhile, June marked 15 years of comprehensive Israeli closures on the Gaza Strip.
More than half of Gaza’s population of over two million live in poverty and 80 percent depend on humanitarian assistance as a result of the blockade and occupation, according to the UN.
In the intervening decade and a half, Israel has killed more than 4,000 Palestinians, including 1,000 children, in four major military offensives in Gaza. An additional 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza were killed in other Israeli attacks during the same period.
More than 12,600 homes were destroyed and nearly 42,000 damaged in Gaza.
Impunity reigns in the absence of meaningful pressure on Israel to end the blockade and other abuses against Palestinians.
A new UN commission of inquiry examining Israel’s system of repression against Palestinians as a whole released its first report in June.
The commission stated that dismantling the Israeli occupation imposed on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 “remains essential in ending the persistent cycle of violence.”
Instead of dismantling the occupation, Israel’s parliament voted late June in favor of dissolving the government in order to preserve its apartheid system in the West Bank.
Palestinians live under military dictatorship in the West Bank while Israeli civil law is extended to Jewish settlers living in the same territory.