Palestine in Pictures: March 2023

Mourners attend the funeral of Palestinians who were killed in an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, 8 March. The West Bank observed a general strike shutting down all activities in protest against the Israeli army assault the previous day, killing six Palestinians.

APA images

Israeli occupation forces and settlers killed 24 Palestinians during March, all but one in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, a Palestinian man died from injuries sustained in February.

With three more killed since the beginning of April, a total of 94 Palestinians, including 17 children, have been killed by Israeli soldiers, police and armed civilians so far this year, or died from injuries sustained previously, according to The Electronic Intifada’s tracking.

There have been three times the number of Palestinian fatalities during the first quarter of 2023 than there were during the same period last year.

Sixteen Israelis or foreign nationals were killed by Palestinians in the context of the occupation, or died from injuries sustained previously, since the beginning of the year. Among them was a 32-year-old man who died on 20 March, nearly two weeks after he was shot in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian assailant on 9 March.

The shooter, Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja, was killed after two police officers and two armed civilians opened fire soon after he hit three people.

The Tel Aviv shooting was the only fatal Palestinian attack inside Israel so far this year; the rest occurred in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The attack came later in the day after a deadly raid in Jaba near Jenin, a northern West Bank city that, along with nearby Nablus, has borne the brunt of Israel’s violence in the territory over the past year.

“Extrajudicial execution”

During the raid in Jaba, undercover Israeli forces opened fire without warning on a group of men sitting in a vehicle in what the Palestinian Center for Human Rights called a “crime of extrajudicial execution.”

The three slain men, all Islamic Jihad fighters from Jaba, were identified as Sufiyan Fakhouri, 26, Nayif Malayisha, 25 and Ahmad Fashafsha, 22. Israel claimed that troops came under fire during the raid intended to capture two men wanted over a series of shooting attacks against the military.

The raid was one of several Israeli operations in the West Bank during March in which Palestinians were killed and injured in what may amount to extrajudicial executions.

On 1 March, 22-year-old Mahmoud Jamal Hasan Hamdan was shot and killed during a raid on Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, which had been under siege following the slaying of a US-Israeli citizen in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley late February.

Israeli authorities said that “two suspects” in the killing were captured during the raid on the Jericho-area camp.

The following day, on 2 March, Israeli forces shot and killed 17-year-old Muhammad Nidal Ibrahim Salim during a military ambush in Azzoun, a town near the West Bank city of Qalqilya. Another boy was shot and seriously injured during the ambush.

On 7 March, six Palestinians were killed during the daytime raid on Jenin refugee camp by undercover Israeli forces, including Abdulfattah Hussein Khrousheh, who they say shot and killed two Israeli brothers in Huwwara, a town near Nablus, on 26 February.

Israel appears to have used the “pressure cooker” procedure during the 7 March raid in Jenin.

The procedure is a form of extrajudicial execution by which occupation forces fire progressively more powerful weapons at a targeted building in an effort to force those inside to surrender. If they refuse to do so, the military demolishes the building, killing all those inside.

Walid Saad Daoud Nasser, 15, died from his injuries on 9 March after an Israeli soldier shot him in the stomach with an expanding bullet while withdrawing from Jenin during the 7 March raid.

On 10 March, Abdulkarim al-Shaikh, 21, was shot and killed by a settler after allegedly infiltrating a settlement outpost near the West Bank city of Qalqilya while carrying a knife and makeshift “explosives,” the Israeli military claimed.

“This brings to four the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers in the West Bank since the beginning of the year, including three who were killed while attacking or allegedly trying to attack Israelis,” according to the UN monitoring group OCHA.

That same day, 14-year-old Amir Odeh was shot during confrontations with Israeli soldiers in Qalqilya, where Palestinians were protesting the deadly raids in Jenin days earlier.

Lions Den fighters killed

On 12 March, three Palestinian armed resistance fighters were killed during an early morning Israeli military raid in Surra, a town near Nablus. The slain men were identified by the Lions Den group as Jihad al-Shami, Odai al-Shami and Muhammad al-Dbeik.

Israel has withheld the slain men’s bodies, according to OCHA.

Undercover Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy who was riding his bike, during a daytime raid in downtown Jenin on 16 March.

Videos recorded by eyewitnesses and security systems appear to show that undercover Israeli forces extrajudicially executed at least one of those killed during the raid.

Among those killed was Nidal Khazem, a 28-year-old field commander for the resistance faction Islamic Jihad. Another armed resistance commander, Yousif Saleh Shrayim, was also killed, along with Luay al-Zughayir, who was shot when he tried to open a door of the car in which the Israeli death squad was traveling.

On 17 March, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Yazan Khasib, 23, after he approached troops “in a suspicious manner” and allegedly pulled out a knife at a junction near Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Like in so many other cases of an alleged attack in which the supposed Palestinian assailant was killed, no Israeli troops were injured.

On 23 March, 25-year-old Amir Abu Khadijeh, the founder of an armed resistance group in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, was killed by Israeli forces in what the Tulkarm Brigade called an “assassination.”

Abu Khadijeh was the first Palestinian killed by Israeli forces during Ramadan, which began the previous day.

Medical school graduate killed

The fasting month has since witnessed several more deaths at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

On 28 March, Amir Muhammad Lawlah died in hospital after being injured by Israeli forces during a 22 February raid in Nablus, bringing to 12 the total number of Palestinians killed in what was the single deadliest Israeli military operation in the West Bank since the United Nations began recording data in 2005, according to an official with the world body.

On 31 March, Muhammad al-Asibi, a 26-year-old recent medical school graduate from Hura, was shot by Israeli police near the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli authorities initially claimed that al-Asibi grabbed and fired an officer’s weapon while defending a woman who had been stopped on her way to al-Aqsa.

Israeli media reported that “witnesses and family members denied the police version of events, saying that the man was ‘killed in cold blood’ as they demanded the release of video footage of the shooting.”

Former senior police officials and Israeli media have described the claim that there is no footage of the deadly incident as “unlikely” and “puzzling,” given that the area in Jerusalem’s Old City is “flooded with cameras.”

Israel is quick to release footage showing its forces executing Palestinians when it thinks it supports its narrative of events.

Also during March, a few days before the start of Ramadan, an engineer with Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian faction dedicated to armed resistance against Israel, was assassinated in Damascus. Islamic Jihad said that Ali Ramzi al-Aswad’s killing in the Syrian capital bears “the fingerprints of the Zionist enemy.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tours a home damaged during a rampage by settlers in Huwwara, a town near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, in late February, 1 March.

Shadi Hatem APA images

The Israeli military razes Palestinian land near the boundary fence in eastern Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, 2 March.

Stringer APA images

Masked gunmen from the Balata battalion commemorate two Palestinians who were shot dead by the Israeli army a month ago in Balata refugee camp, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, 4 March.

Nasser Ishtayeh SOPA Images

A chameleon is seen on a tree branch in Gaza City on 5 March.

Omar Ashtawy APA images

The family of Oday Ahmed, who died after a ship carrying migrants sank off the coast of Italy, display the young man’s photo at their Gaza City home on 4 March.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

People inspect the wreckage of a building used as a safehouse by Palestinian fighters that was hit by Israeli rockets during an army raid in Jenin refugee camp on 7 March. Israeli forces killed six Palestinians; a seventh person, a 15-year-old boy, died from his injuries days later.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

A Palestinian woman harvests legumes near the boundary with Israel east of Gaza City, 8 March.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

People observe a damaged car in which three Palestinian men were killed during an Israeli raid in Jaba, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, 9 March.

Ahmed Ibrahim APA images

Hamas supporters rally in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahiya in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and prisoners held in Israeli prisons, 10 March.

Habboub Ramez ABACA

Palestinians haul in fish caught near the Gaza coast on 13 March. While reported by media to have been manta rays, the fish are mobula rays — both are endangered species. Mobula rays congregate in the eastern Mediterranean coast during March and April. The area in which Palestinians are allowed to fish is severely limited by Israel, shrinking a cornerstone of Gaza’s economy and increasing food insecurity among the population and placing pressure on endangered species that are not preferred by Gaza consumers but are accessible to Gaza fishers.

Salam Yasser APA images

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas meets with 83-year-old Fuad Shubaki (wearing checkered scarf) in the West Bank city of Ramallah after the latter was released from Israeli prison after serving a 17-year sentence for arms smuggling, 13 March.

Jagub al-Jagub APA images

Mourners carry the bodies of a Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli raid earlier in the day in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, 16 March. Four Palestinians, including a teenage boy, were killed in the afternoon raid on the bustling city center by undercover forces.

APA images

Palestinians in the coastal city of Akka protest against Israeli home demolitions on 16 March following the razing of four homes in February. The demolitions are part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign throughout historic Palestine.

Heather Sharona Weiss ActiveStills

Israelis protest against the Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms, Tel Aviv, 18 March.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Anti-occupation activists take part in a protest against the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform, Tel Aviv, 18 March. The banner reads: “This is the flag of the Palestinian people, who have been denied democracy by Israel for 75 years. Democracy for Jews only is not democracy.”

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Palestine Red Crescent Society paramedic Fawaz al-Bitar is welcomed home in the West Bank city of Nablus upon his release after six months in Israeli detention, 20 March.

Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

A vehicle spray-painted with graffiti of the Star of David in the West Bank city of Salfit on 20 March following acts of vandalism believed to have been conducted by Israeli settlers.

Mohammed Nasser APA

Muhammad Owaisat, 17, at his family’s home in Jabal al-Mukabbir, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, after he was beaten and injured by Israeli forces, 20 March. The Owaisat family said that Muhammad was assaulted and then hospitalized without them being informed. After hours of searching, he was found in Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem with a broken nose and bruises to the head and back.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine march in Gaza City against the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, 21 March. Pushed for by Washington, the summit was a ”political-security” meeting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Omar Al-Dirawi APA images

A Palestinian boy observes the crescent moon that determines the beginning of Ramadan at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, 21 March.

Saeed Qaq APA images

Al-Zawiya market, one of the most popular destinations for shoppers in Gaza, on the eve of Ramadan, 21 March.

Atia Darwish APA images

The widow of Abdulfattah Khrousheh prepares to evacuate her home after the Israeli army took the measurements of the house in preparation for its demolition in the West Bank city of Nablus on 22 March. Israel accuses Khrousheh of carrying out a shooting attack that left two Jewish settlers dead in the town of Huwwara in late February. Khrousheh was killed during a military raid in Jenin refugee camp in early March; five other Palestinians were also slain.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Inside the home where Amir Abu Khadija was shot and killed by Israeli forces during a raid in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, 23 March.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Palestinian children wave a flag across the street from Israeli settlers during a weekly protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, 24 March. Palestinians are protesting the ethnic cleansing and Judaization of the neighborhood and of Jerusalem, particularly efforts to evict families to make way for Israeli settlers.

Heather Sharona Weiss ActiveStills

Palestinians rally in Gaza City in solidarity with Khader Adnan and Walid Daqqa, Islamic Jihad leaders held by Israel, 26 March.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

Israeli protesters block a highway in Tel Aviv following Benjamin Netanyahu’s dismissal of Yoav Galant, the defense minister, after the latter called on the government to halt its controversial judicial reform.

Ilia Yefimovich DPA

Palestinians plant an olive tree east of Gaza City near the boundary with Israel in commemoration of Land Day on 28 March.

Atia Darwish APA images

Palestinian Muslims offer the taraweeh night prayer observed during the fasting month of Ramadan at al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, 28 March.

Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem APA images

A Palestine Red Crescent Society paramedic inspects an ambulance damaged by Israeli settlers in Huwwara, near the West Bank city of Nablus, on 29 March.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Palestinian scouts mark the 47th anniversary of Land Day in Gaza City on 29 March. Land Day commemorates Israel’s killing of six Palestinians and the injury of hundreds more during protests against land expropriation in 1976.

APA images

Palestinians march to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Land Day in Sakhnin, a city in the lower Galilee, 30 March

Heather Sharona Weiss ActiveStills

Palestinian protesters scuffle with Israeli soldiers during a Land Day demonstration in Huwwara, a town in the northern West Bank, on 31 March.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on their way to attend the second Friday noon prayer of Ramadan in Jerusalem, 31 March.

Ahmad Tayem APA images

Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint on their way to attend the second Friday noon prayer of Ramadan in Ibrahimi mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron on 31 March.

Mamoun Wazwaz APA images

Palestinians cross the Qalandiya military checkpoint on their way to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque to attend the second Friday prayer of Ramadan, 31 March.

Ahmad Arouri APA images

Palestinian worshippers attend the second Friday noon prayer of Ramadan at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound on 31 March.

Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem APA images