Israeli troops kill another Palestinian man in occupied West Bank

AP , Monday 30 Jan 2023

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The killing marks the latest bloodshed in spiraling violence that comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the region.

Nassim Abu Fouda
Mourners carry the body of Nassim Abu Fouda, 26, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. AP


The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man, Nassim Abu Fouda, 26, was shot in Hebron -  where the Israeli army and 700 Israeli settlers impose a reign of terror on a daily basis against the 200,000-plus Palestinian residents of the city. 

Israeli violence against the Palestinians has spiked in recent days, with an Israeli military raid on a militant stronghold in the West Bank city of Jenin last week killing 10.

Meanwhile, a day later, a Palestinian shooting attack in an east Jerusalem Jewish settlement killed seven Israelis.

Unrest has continued in the ensuing days, prompting Israel to approve a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians and ratcheting up tensions just as Blinken begins meetings with leaders later in the day.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in the West Bank and east Jerusalem last year, making it the deadliest year in those territories since 2004, according to figures from the Israeli rights group B'Tselem.

Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the same period killed 29 people.

Nassim Abu Fouda

The bloodshed has spiked this month, during the first weeks of Israel's new far-right government, which has promised to take a tough stance against the Palestinians and ramp up settlement construction.

Monday's death brings the toll of Palestinians killed this month to 35.

Blinken's visit, which was planned before the flare-up, was expected to be fraught with tension over differences between the Biden administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government, which is made up of settlement supporters. He will now need to contend with an additional challenge during his trip, trying to restore calm even as violence persists.

After the Jenin raid, the Palestinians said they would cancel security coordination with Israel and after attacks against Israelis intensified, Israel said it would beef up Jewish settlements in the West Bank, among other steps.

Israeli Army Radio reported late Sunday that the government was also set to approve a rogue outpost deep inside the West Bank, and speed up approval for other such small settlements.

Israel also arrested 42 Palestinians, some relatives of the Jerusalem attacker, in its investigation into the attack. And the firebrand National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he has ordered authorities to begin demolishing Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem in response to the attack, claiming that the houses have been illegally built. 

Ben-Gvir called it "one step among a series of important steps for governance and for the war on terror and we need more steps in this war.''

Palestinian residents of the city's eastern sector say systemic housing discrimination means they are rarely granted building permits, prompting some to build illegally.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war, territories the Palestinians claim for a future independent state.

Some 500,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank in dozens of settlements and outposts with their own road and highway system, in a setup that impedes traffic and daily life nightmares for more than 2 million Palestinians in the occupied territory.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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