This Week in Palestine: Eight Palestinians Killed by Israel in Occupied West Bank

Omar Lutfi Khumour, 14, was killed by Israeli army in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem.(Photo: via Social Media)

By Robert Inlakesh

Over the past week, Israeli occupation forces killed 8 Palestinians, the youngest being a 14-year-old boy, bringing the total death toll from Israeli fire, in the West Bank, to 18 in the first 20 days of 2023.

Saturday: Two Killed in Jenin

On Saturday, Yazan al-Ja’bari (19 years old) from the town of al-Yamoun, west of Jenin, died of his wounds sustained from an Israeli bullet-wound that he sustained during the raid on the town of Kafrdan about two weeks ago.

After this news emerged, two young men, Izz al-Din Hamamra (24 years old) and Amjad Khalilah (23 years old) were then assassinated in a similar way to the brutal assassination in Nablus, last February, whereby Israeli forces mercilessly sprayed their car with bullets.

A comprehensive strike in Jenin was then called. Settlers illegally seized lands in the Zuwaydin area (east of Yatta), south of al-Khalil, and injured a Palestinian driver, pelting his vehicle with stones, south of Nablus. Palestinian youths also threw stones at Israeli settlers in the town of Hawara.

Two young men from the village of Urif, south of Nablus, were wounded by Israeli bullets near the separation wall, west of the town of Habla (south of Qalqilya), while they were trying to enter to work in the 1948 occupied territories (Israel).

A shooting reportedly targeted an Israeli military tower in Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil, and the Jalameh checkpoint was also targeted with gunfire from the Jenin Brigades armed group. 80,000 Israeli protesters demonstrated in Tel Aviv, against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, there were also other large protests throughout different cities in the 1948 occupied lands.

Israeli media reported that alleged suspicious activity took place around the separation fence with Gaza, and claims were made about the movement of Al-Qassam brigades forces.

Sunday: China Calls on Israel to Stop Provocation

On Sunday, Israeli occupation forces shot dead Ahmed Hassan Kahla (45 years old), from Silwad, first attempting to blame him for an attempted stabbing attack. Later they admitted that the Palestinian man was unarmed, bystanders said that he was harassed by the Israeli military at a roadside checkpoint and after exiting his car to complain, was assaulted and shot. Part of the confrontation was on video.

Resistance forces shot at the “Ofra” settlement, illegally built near Ramallah on Palestinian land, and the Dotan checkpoint near Jenin was also fired upon.

A Palestinian Authority (PA) employee, who served 17 years in Israeli military prison, Muhammad Abu al-Zalof, declared: “I am on a hunger strike to death after the Palestinian Authority cut my salary.” The PA court postponed the trial of the killers of the activist Nizar Banat until January 29. Nizar Banat was a popular critic of the Palestinian Authority and was brutally dragged out of his home and beaten to death by members of the PA’s security forces in 2021.

China’s Foreign Ministry released the following statement: “We call on the Israeli side to stop incitement and provocation, and it is not permissible to continue this injustice against the Palestinians, and it is not permissible to compromise on their legitimate rights”.

A shooting attack that targeted a settler bus took place near the Halhul Bridge, north of al-Khalil, and the occupation forces were deployed to find those responsible, but were unable. An armed clash between resistance forces and the occupation army occurred in the town of Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, resulting in damage to an Israeli military vehicle.

A young Palestinian girl was injured when an Israeli settler rammed their car into her on the main street of Al-Funduq village, between Qalandia and Nablus.

The occupation forces carry out demolitions in the town of Hizma, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. Resistance forces shot at drones over Qabatiya in Jenin, a shooting towards the occupation forces also occurred in Hawara town, near Nablus.

Monday: Palestinian Child Killed in Dheisheh

On Monday, occupation forces began the day by storming Jenin, Al-Bireh, Askar refugee camp, Dheisheh refugee camp and Shuafat refugee camp. Israeli occupation forces shot dead another Palestinian child, Omar Khumour, who was only 14 years old, during their raid on the Dheisheh refugee camp, located near Bethlehem. Israeli occupation forces then destroyed about 15 Palestinian shops and buildings in the town of Hizma, in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli settlers provocatively stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Palestinian political prisoners in Al-Naqab prison go on strike and affirm that life will not return to normal unless all the prisoners who were recently transferred from their cells return. Israeli media publish figures suggesting that over 500,000 Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates since the signing of the infamous normalisation agreement.

On the other hand, only around 1,600 Emiratis have gone for a holiday in occupied Palestine, with Bahrainis entering in such low amounts that the figures were not even worth noting. This confirms that despite the government’s normalisation deals, the Arab people at large have refrained from doing so, as has been the case for a long time with the Jordanian and Egyptian people.

As Israel’s Herzi Halevi was sworn in as the new chief of the Israeli military, taking over from Aviv Kochavi, the armed wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam brigades, released a video of one of the Israeli soldiers they captured in 2014.

Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, had set up the swearing-in ceremony in a way that had never happened so publicly before and it was clear that this was intended upon being a day of triumph for the new Israeli government. However, the story about Hamas’s video of the captured Israeli soldier became the headline news of the day and prompted calls for Netanyahu to act. For a long the Israeli government and military had misled the public and made them believe all the captured soldiers were dead, this is the first irrefutable proof that one of the soldiers believed to be killed, was in fact captured alive.

The “Shaked” settlement, near Jenin, was targeted by the Jenin Brigades, leaving bullet holes in windows and damaging illegal settler housing. Al-Rihan checkpoint was also fired upon, in addition to the illegal settlement of “Merav”.

Tuesday: Jordanian Ambassador Harrassed at Al-Aqsa

On Tuesday, Israeli forces raided Hawara town, near Nablus, in addition to the al-Fawar refugee camp (near al-Khalil) and Tuqu’ town (near Bethlehem). Raids into towns near Tubas, Jenin, Ramallah and Nablus, in addition to Ain al-Sultan camp in Jericho, also took place in the earlier hours of the morning. Extremist Israeli settlers also stormed al-Aqsa Mosque again.

A Palestinian man, Hamdi Abu Dayyeh, opened fire on Israeli occupation forces when his car was stopped by them in Halhul, near al-Khalil, and was shot dead on site. He had allegedly just carried out two other shooting attacks against Israeli checkpoints in the preceding 48 hours. The occupation forces demolished a two-story house belonging to the Sinokrot family in the town of Beit Safafa, in occupied Jerusalem.

In the town of Jabal al-Mukaber, in occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths came out to confront Israeli occupation forces with stones in order to try to prevent them from demolishing a building in the area. They succeeded in making the Israeli forces withdraw.

Israeli occupation police forces stopped the Jordanian ambassador to Israel after he had entered the al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Bab al-Asbat (Lions Gate) entrance, with one occupation force member pushing a man in the Jordanian diplomat’s entourage.

The occupation police released a statement claiming that they held the ambassador at the entrance to al-Aqsa briefly in order to check his ID, due to the visit coming unannounced, this was clearly a lie according to video evidence which proves the ambassador had already entered the site. This caused the second major flare-up between the Hashemite Kingdom and Tel Aviv in three weeks, as the Jordanian King, Abdallah II, has legal custodianship over the Christian and Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem and no authorization is required for Jordan’s ambassador to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque site.

On the same day, a meeting held in Cairo, between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdallah II, and the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas, resulted in a warning to Israel over its violations of the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Naqab prison administration locked down sections where Fatah movement prisoners are held, sounded warning sirens, and summoned the repression units, after claiming that a prisoner beat an Israeli jailer. Palestinian youths later began to set up roadblocks and burn tires in preparation for Israeli occupation forces storming the Joseph’s Tomb area, near Nablus. Israeli settlers enter the site frequently for the purpose of provoking Palestinians.

Palestinians resistance forces, from a large number of local armed groups, exchanged fire with Israeli occupation forces for hours, as unarmed citizens threw Molotov cocktails and stones at military vehicles.

Israeli settlers in buses with bulletproof glass were heard screaming in fear, yet when they entered Joseph’s Tomb they took photos in a bragging fashion, only when they knew they were safe. Three unarmed Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces during the confrontations. That same day an Israeli Merkava tank was spotted crossing the Lebanese border, putting Lebanon on high alert due to the violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Wednesday: Demolitions near Al-Khalil Continue

On Wednesday, armed confrontations with the Israeli forces raiding Nablus, connected with the settler incursion, continued into the earlier hours of the morning and resulted in damage to military vehicles. No resistance fighters were killed in the exchanges, reports indicate that Israeli soldiers were shot, however, this is difficult to confirm as the Israeli military routinely lies about soldier injuries and deaths, in this case it didn’t report any.

The occupation military carried out an arrest campaign in al-Tur, located in East Jerusalem. Israeli extremist settlers again stormed al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli Occupation Intelligence (Shabak/Shin Bet) announced the arrest of a 50-year-old Palestinian, from Acre, for allegedly beating a settler and setting his vehicle on fire in May of 2021.

The occupation forces demolished facilities in the Arab al-Freijat community near al-Ramadin, south of al-Khalil, they also demolished two houses in the village of Al-Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley area.

UN Urges Israel to Ensure Palestinians’ Right to Education

The Lebanese army forced a bulldozer of the occupation army to stop work at the borders of the Metula settlement after it breached the Blue Line. Both the Israeli and Lebanese army’s were put on high alert.

The occupation forces bulldozed lands in the Al-Kassarat area near the town of Al-Ram, north of occupied Jerusalem, they also demolished the home of Amer Barakat, in the village of Al-Sayed, located in the occupied Naqab region. In addition to this, Israeli forces seized 3 vehicles and destroyed several agricultural roads in the Al-Wadi Al-Ahmar area in the Al-Funduq village, east of Qalqilya.

A shooting attack targeted an Israeli military tower in Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil, the Jalameh and Qalandia checkpoints were also targeted with homemade explosives. Villages surrounding Ramallah were then raided late at night.

Thursday: Two Palestinians Killed in Jenin

On Thursday, Israeli occupation forces deployed around 75 military vehicles, special forces units and drones, in order to raid the Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on ambulances, preventing them from attending to injured Palestinians, only three of which they were able to transport early on to the Ibn Sina hospital.

The occupation army arrested one of the leaders of the PIJ movement, Khaled Abu Zina, and his two sons, during the raid. They also shot dead Adham Jabarin (28 years old), a fighter with the Jenin Brigades group and an innocent school teacher, who was murdered inside their home, named Jawad Bawaqa (57 years old). Israeli forces also opened fire against Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, leaving bullet holes on the inside of the building.

Israeli occupation forces were confronted by the Lebanese army at the border, after they again violated the border to clear land on the other side, this standoff, for which Israel deployed a tank, caused the intervention of UNIFIL forces in order to stabilize the situation.

Maher Younes, who was a political detainee in an Israeli military prison for 40 years, was released and Israeli forces stormed his welcoming party in order to confiscate Palestinian flags. Israeli forces arrested journalist Abdel Mohsen Shalaldeh, raising the number of journalists detained in the occupations military prisons to 19.

Raids throughout the occupied West Bank also took place on Thursday, including in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, as resistance forces opened fire again on a number of Israeli checkpoints. The armed resistance forces in the Gaza Strip also tested new rockets toward the sea, as their drones hovered above their military sites. Israeli occupation police forces in Jerusalem additionally arrested 5 Palestinian children, as part of clearing the old city of Jerusalem, similarly Palestinians were attacked around the Bab al-Amoud area, before Israeli settlers stormed the area in order to begin one of their “death to Arabs” marches.

Israeli settlers drank alcohol provocatively in the Arab quarter of the Holy City, urinated on the walls in the Bab al-Amoud (Damascus gate) area, and even reportedly smeared their feces on walls. This was before they marched through the old city under the protection of armed Israeli forces, attacking Palestinian women, spitting at them, and throwing objects at Palestinian homes in the old city.

Friday: Elderly Man Arrested for Waiving Palestinian Flag

On Friday, as part of combating Israel’s attempts to change the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque, large numbers of Muslim worshippers have been attending Friday prayers, including thousands for the Fajr (morning) prayer alone. Tens of thousands of Palestinians prayed Friday prayer inside the compound.

Palestinians faced off with Israeli settlers who were setting up an illegal outpost on the lands of Jureish, both sides throwing stones at each other. This resulted in a settler getting stoned in the faced and having to seek medical attention and eventually the villagers from Jureish managed to thwart the settler attempt to establish the outpost.

Protesters also gathered in an area near the separation wall in Qalandia, where Israel intends to confiscate the land in order to build another settlement. A group of settlers also stormed an area near to another illegal settlement located close to Nablus, setting up an illegal outpost.

An elderly Palestinian man was arrested in occupied Jerusalem’s Bab al-Amoud (Damascus gate) area, for waving a Palestinian flag, causing tension in the area. Israel also forced the Jerusalemite, Mahran Al-Disi, to demolish his own home, which has been standing for 14 years, this happened in the Bab Al-Khalil area in occupied Jerusalem. Demonstrations were carried out throughout the West Bank, leaving at least 20 injured, with Israeli raids on areas through the territory also taking place.

– Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specializing in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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