Israeli settler fatally shoots Palestinian man in West Bank

AP , Ahram Online , Saturday 27 May 2023

A Palestinian man was shot and killed on Friday in the occupied West Bank, amidst growing condemnation of Israeli demolitions and settler violence in the occupied territories.

west bank, palestine
Palestinians argue with Israeli security forces during a protest against the establishment of Israeli outposts, in Beit Dajan, east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on May 26, 2023. AFP


According to Israeli authorities, the man is alleged to have been killed after he carried out a stabbing attempt in the Tene Omarim settlement.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death and identified the man as Alaa Qissaya, 28.

Security camera footage from the site shows a Palestinian male entering the settlement carrying a knife after crawling under a gate. The video does not show the alleged stabbing attempt.

The settlement is located near Hebron, a flashpoint city in the southern West Bank, which is a frequent site of friction between Palestinian residents and Jewish settlers.

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers attacked and injured several Palestinian farmers and torched five vehicles and cropland in the village of Al-Mughayyir near the city of Ramallah, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Israeli media reported that Israeli security forces were sent in to bring the situation under control.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the killing by "armed and terrorist-organized settler militias," WAFA reported.

The foreign ministry denounced "the crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces and settlers against Palestinian residents, including the destruction of land, properties and crops in the area between the villages of al-Mughayyir and Turmus Ayya, east of Ramallah."

"The attack took place with the apparent support and protection of Israeli soldiers, who failed to intervene and even participated in the assault," the ministry said. 

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government were held fully and directly responsible for the settlers' crimes and the provocative attacks carried out by armed and organized groups. These groups receive training and arms from the occupation forces and engage in heinous acts against the Palestinian people, their land, properties, and holy sites", the minstry added. 

The ministry questioned the international community's silence and countries' disregard for the lives of Palestinians. It emphasized the urgent need for the world to recognize that the Palestinian people are losing trust in the UN’s ability to protect them from the brutality of the occupation and armed settler militias, which the ministry described as an extension of Israeli army.

In response to the recent settler attacks, Hamas issued a statement urging an effective Arab and international response to condemn the occupation and hold its leaders accountable. The statement highlighted "the ongoing assaults and terrorism carried out by settlers throughout the occupied West Bank, with the support and protection of the Israeli government."

Hamas argued that "the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation army and settlers aims to displace the original inhabitants of the land in favor of expansionist settlement projects," calling for "an active Arab and international stance to support the Palestinian people and advocate for justice in their cause."

Furthermore, the Palestinian resistance group emphasized the importance of condemning the occupation and holding its leaders accountable for their violations of international conventions and norms, which pose a threat to peace and security in the region and the Middle East as a whole.

The recent surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence has led to frequent Israeli military raids, settler violence in the West Bank and Palestinian attacks on Israelis. Over the past year, more than 140 Palestinians and at least 19 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in these incidents.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, in 1967. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.

Some 700,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal or obstacles to peace.

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