Palestine in Pictures: June 2023

Palestinian mourners carry the body of 2-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, who was shot by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on 1 June and died of his wounds four days later, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, 6 June.

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Israeli police, troops and settlers killed more than 20 Palestinians during June, all in the occupied West Bank. That figure includes Palestinians who died from injuries sustained previously.

The youngest of them was Muhammad Tamimi, 2. The toddler was shot in the head by Israeli troops while he was sitting in his family’s car in front of their home in the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 1 June and died in a hospital four days later.

After initially denying responsibility, the Israeli military claimed that the soldier who killed the boy “mistakenly believed” that the toddler and his father, who was seriously injured, “had fired at him,” the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported.

“The soldier had received permission from his commander before shooting,” the paper added.

On 9 June, an Israeli soldier shot and killed 29-year-old Mahdi Biadsa at a checkpoint near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The Israeli military claimed that “its forces were inspecting a vehicle suspected as stolen when the driver allegedly tried to grab a soldier’s weapon and was shot and killed by another soldier,” the UN monitoring group OCHA said.

Israel initially withheld his body as part of its practice, approved by its high court, of confiscating the bodies of Palestinians slain in what it says were attacks so they may be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations. Biadsa’s remains were transferred to his family on 21 June.

Deadly raids

On 13 June, Faris Hashash, 19, was shot and killed during a raid in Balata refugee camp near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Hashash, who was mentally disabled, was hiding behind a wall and observing the Israeli incursion when he was shot with three live bullets.

Another young Palestinian man, 20-year-old Khalil Yahya al-Anis, was shot and killed during a punitive home demolition raid in Nablus on 15 June.

On 19 June, Israeli forces shot 15-year-old Ahmad Saqer in the stomach with live ammunition from inside a military vehicle during an incursion into Jenin refugee camp.

The teen was holding stones and standing among a group of young Palestinians, some of whom allegedly lobbed homemade explosives towards the raiding troops, Defense for Children International-Palestine said.

His father told Al Jazeera that “when the Israeli army raided, he ran towards them. He wanted to die after his friend Omar was killed.”

The slain child’s father may have been referring to Omar Awadin, a 14-year-old who was killed while riding his bike outside his parents’ shop during a raid by undercover forces in Jenin in March. Three other Palestinians were killed during the same raid.

In addition to Ahmad Saqer, four other Palestinians were killed during the same 19 June raid in Jenin: Qassam Abu Sariya, 29, Qais Jabareen, 21, and Ahmad Daraghmeh, who were reportedly affiliated with Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, and Khaled Azzam Asaaseh, 21.

Video shows Darahmeh being shot while apparently throwing stones.

Another man, 48-year-old Amjad Arif al-Jais, died from his injuries the following day after he was shot by an Israeli sniper while trying to pick his children up from school during the 19 June raid. His son Wasim, 16, was shot and run over by troops during a raid in Jenin refugee camp on 26 January, killing him.

Sadil Naghnaghieh, 14, died on 21 June from injuries sustained during the raid in Jenin three days earlier, bringing to six the number of Palestinians killed during the 19 June incursion.

The girl was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper who fired out of a military vehicle while she was standing outside her home recording the Israeli military incursion on her phone.

During the 19 June raid, Israel used a US-sourced Apache attack helicopter in the West Bank for the first time in two decades to facilitate the evacuation of troops who were ambushed by a powerful improvised explosive device that disabled a 10-ton armored vehicle.

Also on 19 June, 20-year-old Zakarya al-Zaoul was shot in the head and killed during confrontations in Husan village near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The following day, 20 June, Naser Sinan, 55, died from injuries sustained after he was shot in the head by soldiers during a raid in Jenin on 22 May. Palestinian outlets reported that Sinan was a father of six children.

Settlement shooting attack

Also on 20 June, four Israelis, one of them 17 years old, were shot and killed by two Palestinian gunmen at a restaurant and gas station near Eli settlement in the central West Bank.

Both of the Palestinians alleged to have carried out the attack were killed in what may amount to extrajudicial executions. They were identified as Muhanad Shehadeh, 26, and Khaled Sabah, 24, both from the West Bank village of Urif near Nablus.

Israel’s ultranationalist national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir exploited the Eli attack by calling on settlers in the West Bank to pick up arms.

Over the following days, settlers attacked Palestinians in more than a dozen West Bank communities.

In the revenge attacks that followed, settlers vandalized a mosque and tore up copies of the Quran and set fire to a school in Urif, the Eli gunmen’s hometown. They also cut off electricity to the entire village and set up new outposts on Palestinian land.

Omar Jabara (who also went by the surname Abu Qateen), 27, was shot and killed during a rampage by hundreds of settlers, some of them armed, in Tumus Aya near Ramallah on 21 June. The fatal bullet was likely fired by an Israeli police officer.

During the attack on Turmus Aya, settlers fired live bullets towards residents, attempted to burn families in their homes and set fire to agricultural land. Palestinians in the town, many of whom hold US citizenship, said that the army facilitated the violent mob.

West Bank airstrike

Also on 21 June, Israel killed three Palestinians in an airstrike near al-Jalameh military checkpoint in the northern West Bank – the first such deadly aerial assault in the territory in nearly two decades.

Israel targeted the three after they allegedly opened fire at military vehicles. The slain Palestinians were identified as Muhammad Bashar Oweis, 27, Suhayb al-Ghoul, 28 and Ashraf al-Saadi, 15.

On 24 June, Ishaq al-Ajlouni, 16, was shot and killed after allegedly opening fire at Qalandiya military checkpoint where Israel controls Palestinian movement between the West Bank cities of Jerusalem and Ramallah. A security guard was reportedly lightly wounded.

That same day, Tariq Musa Khalil Idris, 39, died from his injuries after being shot in the stomach during confrontations with Israeli forces in Askar refugee camp near Nablus.

At least 190 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli police, troops and settlers since the beginning of the year, or died from injuries sustained previously, according to The Electronic Intifada’s tracking. Among them were 33 boys and girls.

The number of Palestinian fatalities in 2023 has already eclipsed that of the previous year.

Thirty people in Israel and Israelis in the West Bank, including five children, were killed by Palestinians in the context of the occupation, or died from injuries sustained previously, during the same period.

Also during June, five Palestinians were shot and killed in a crime-related shooting in Nazareth amid a major spike in the murder rate among Palestinians in Israel.

Meanwhile, two Palestinians – 17-year-old Muhammad Hashah and 18-year-old Alaa Hafnawi – were killed and a third person was critically injured in an accidental blast while handling explosives in Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus.

And in early June, three Israeli soldiers were killed by an Egyptian border guard who crossed into Israel.

Protesters march in Tel Aviv to mark 56 years of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 3 June.

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Palestinians rally outside the International Committee of the Red Cross’ office in Gaza City to express solidarity with prisoners held in Israeli jails, 5 June. Israel is currently detaining nearly 5,000 Palestinians, including 29 women and 170 children. Around 1,000 Palestinians are currently being held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders, the highest number of administrative detainees in the past 11 years.

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The Dar Misr 1 (al-Zahra) housing project in central Gaza on 5 June. The residential communities of Dar Misr 1 (al-Zahra), Dar Misr 2 (Jabaliya) and Dar Misr 3 (Beit Lahiya) are being built under the full supervision of the Egyptian Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza. Following Israel’s May 2021 offensive in Gaza, Egypt allocated $500 million for reconstruction using Egyptian companies.

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A picture taken on 5 June shows a Palestinian man collecting plastic from a waste dump to sell to a recycling company in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip

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Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh visits a school during the first day of high school matriculation exams, known as tawjihi, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 7 June. Nearly 88,000 students in the West Bank and Gaza started their tawjihi exam that qualifies them to enter college.

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Palestinian children visit the “Occupation Kills Childhood” exhibition held on the rubble of houses destroyed in air strikes  during last month’s Israeli offensive, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, 8 June.

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The scene after Israeli troops punitively destroyed an apartment belonging to the family of Palestinian prisoner Islam Faroukh in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 8 June. Faroukh is accused by Israel of planting bombs that killed two Israelis and injured 18 others last November.

Ahmad Arouri APA images

Activists take part in an anti-pinkwashing bloc during the Tel Aviv Pride Parade on 8 June. Pinkwashing is a propaganda strategy deployed by Israel whereby it promotes its supposed enlightenment toward LGBTQ issues to deflect criticism from its human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians.

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A man hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers from the Lebanese side of the Lebanese-Israeli boundary at the area of Kfarchouba and Shebaa Farms and in front of an Israeli tank positioned during confrontations with Lebanese citizens. Lebanese protesters removed barbed wires set up by the Lebanese army and hurled stones at Israeli forces, who fired tear gas in return.

Marwan Naamani DPA

Activists light candles on 10 June in memory of the more than 100 Palestinian citizens of Israel murdered since the beginning of the year during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against judicial reform. A few days earlier, Sarit Ahmed, an 18-year-old Druze woman, was killed by members of her family due to her sexual orientation.

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Palestinians look at a car destroyed during confrontations between armed men and Israeli forces following a military raid in Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, 13 June.

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Newborn Palestinian quadruplets, conceived with sperm from their father Ahmed Shamali that was smuggled out of Israeli prison, at their home in Gaza City, 13 June. In recent years several Palestinian women have turned to IVF treatment using smuggled sperm from an imprisoned husband, a complex endeavor.

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Ayman Alhossary, paints Arabic calligraphy in a house destroyed by Israel during its May offensive, Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, 15 June.

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The home of the family of Osama Tawil after it was punitively demolished in the West Bank city of Nablus on 15 June. Tawil was arrested in February and charged with killing a soldier last year. A Palestinian was killed during the raid and two others were injured, one of them critically.

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Murad Abu Muailiq is welcomed by friends and relatives following his release after 22 years in an Israeli prison, Nuseirat, central Gaza Strip, 15 June.

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Palestinian families fill up the beach in Gaza City on 16 June.

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Nora Sub Laban, center, joins a protest against the forced eviction of her family from their home in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City in order to make way for Israeli settlers, 16 June. Family members are counting down the days until the implementation of a 1978 court decision is carried out, and they expect to be evicted from the home, where the family has lived since 1953, any time.

Atef Safadi EFE

The scene after Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian Bedouin tent in Khirbet al-Hamidiyeh, in the northern Jordan Valley, 17 June.

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A US-sourced Apache attack helicopter fires missiles during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, 19 June. The Israeli army deployed the helicopter for the first time in two decades to facilitate the evacuation of troops ambushed by a powerful bomb that exploded under an armored military vehicle.

Alaa Badarneh EFE

Mourners gather around the bodies of Palestinians killed in an Israeli army raid during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, 19 June. A total of seven Palestinians were killed.

Alaa Badarneh EFE

Israeli personnel work at the scene of a shooting in Eli settlement, between the West Bank cities of Nablus and Ramallah, 20 June. Four Israelis were killed in the attack and the two Palestinian gunmen were executed by armed civilians and special forces.

Ilia Yefimovich DPA

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets a delegation from the Palestinian Hamas movement, headed by Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau, in Iran on 21 June.

Iranian Presidency Office

A home belonging to the family of Kamal Jouri after it was punitively demolished by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus on 22 June. Jouri was arrested in February on allegations that he participated in the killing of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank last year.

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Khalija Diab, 75, is seen outside her torched home in the Palestinian town of Turmus Aya, one day after hundreds of settlers attacked the community, burning 15 houses and damaging move than 30 vehicles, 22 June.

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Hamas supporters rally in Gaza City to protest against the Israeli army and settler raids in the West Bank, 23 June.

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Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, the EU envoy to the West Bank and Gaza, visits the family of Omar Qattin, a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli police during a settler rampage, during his visit to Turmus Aya near the West Bank city of Ramallah, 23 June. More than 30 diplomats visited the town after the attack.

Alaa Badarneh EFE

Palestinian Americans Olfat Abdel Aziz, left, and her daughters Nur, center, and Amal, right, pose for a portrait with their US passports in their damaged home in the West Bank town of Turmus Aya on 23 June, days after an attack by hundreds of Jewish settlers. The town is home to many Palestinians with American citizenship.

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Hamas leaders visit the families of Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza City ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, 25 June.

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Structures for a new settlement outpost are seen near Maale Levona in the central West Bank, 27 June. The previous day, Israel’s Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee approved the construction of 5,623 new housing units in the West Bank, including 1,428 in Eli settlement.

Atef Safadi EFE

Palestinians visit the graves of their relatives on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Gaza City, 28 June.

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A photo taken from the same location in 1926 is displayed on a mobile phone as Palestinians, many of them from the West Bank, enjoy a day at the Jaffa beach during the second day of the Eid al-Adha holiday, 29 June. For many, it was the first time at the beach, as on the major Muslim holidays Israeli authorities allow thousands of Palestinians to enter for a short visit.

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Palestinian tannery workers prepare cow hides after they were slaughtered on the second day of Eid al-Adha, Gaza City, 29 June.

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Israeli troops take aim during confrontations following the arrest of Palestinians in Urif village, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, 29 June.

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Palestinian protesters confront Israeli soldiers following a demonstration in Beit Dajan, near the West Bank city of Nablus, against the expansion of Jewish settlements, 30 June.

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Palestinians pose for photos with weapons belonging to the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, on the third day of Eid al-Adha in Gaza City, 30 June.

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