2 Palestinians Killed in Huwwara; Israel Returns 7 Bodies

Two Palestinians were shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the village of Huwwara south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, locals and Israel’s army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians stabbed and wounded a soldier before Israeli forces on site opened fire, resulting in the death of both attackers.

The spokesperson said that initial reports suggested that an additional soldier was injured as a result of fire directed towards the attackers.

One Israeli soldier received stab wounds to the face, while the other was injured by a gunshot wound to the leg, according to Israeli media.

Locals identified the Palestinians as Muhammad Rafiq Hussien Sabana,17, and Noor al-Deen Muhammad Abdul-Qadir Sabana, 23.

The Huwwara area — particularly the military checkpoint next to the village — has been site to frequent confrontation between local Palestinians and Israeli military and settlers in recent months.

Israeli forces on Sunday shot dead 56-year-old Maher al-Jabi at the Huwwara military checkpoint after he ran his vehicle into soldiers, lightly injuring one.

Last week, the forces shot and killed a 15-year-old from the Nablus-area village of Beit Furik after he reportedly drew a knife on soldiers at the checkpoint.

Weeks before, two 16-year-old Palestinians were shot dead at the checkpoint, one of whom was run over and shot by prominent Israeli settler Gershon Mesika after he said she was attempting to carry out an attack.

No Israelis were injured in any of the incidents.

Such incidents have become near-daily since Oct. 1, with 12 Palestinians and 2 Israelis killed in the last week alone.

Two Palestinians killed in the last week were shot dead during clashes with Israeli military forces, while the rest were killed by forces during attacks on Israeli military and civilians.

Israel Returns Bodies of 7 Slain Palestinians

Israeli authorities on Sunday released the bodies of seven Palestinian who were killed by Israeli forces, some of them more than a month earlier, the Palestinian Authority of Civil Affairs told Ma’an.

Ministry officials said the bodies belonged to Muhammad Zahran from Kafr Addik village near Nablus, Mamoon al-Khatib from Bethlehem, Issam Thawabta from Beit Fajjar town south of Bethlehem, Samir al-Sarisi from Jenin, Muhammad al-Shubaki from Hebron, Issa al-Huroub from Hebron, and Shadi Matariyya from al-Bireh northwest of Ramallah.

Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October, Israel has routinely held the bodies of Palestinians it alleges were attempting to attack Israelis when they were killed.

Israel’s Public Security Ministry said in mid-October that the bodies of alleged Palestinians attackers would no longer be returned to their families and would instead by buried in “secret.”

A spokesperson for the ministry said at the time the decision was made in order to stem protests that frequently accompany the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

However, Israel’s withholding of bodies has only further stoked tensions in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Israeli authorities have since returned many of them of them to their families, on what they refer to as a “case-by-case” basis.

(MAAN)

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