Mourners bury Palestinian killed by Israeli settlers

AFP , Saturday 5 Aug 2023

Mourners on Saturday attended the funeral of a Palestinian killed by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, after the UN warned of a dramatic spike in such cases.

Mourners carry the body of 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan, during his funeral in the vil
Mourners carry the body of 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan, during his funeral in the village of Burqa in the north of the occupied West Bank on August 5, 2023. AFP


The Palestinian health ministry in a statement late Friday announced the death of Qusai Jamal Maatan, 19, saying he was "shot dead by settlers in the village of Burqa", east of Ramallah.

At the funeral procession, Maatan was wrapped in a black and white keffiyeh head covering and Palestinian flag. Mourners carried his body through the village streets before his burial, said an AFP journalist at the scene.

On early Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said 18-year-old Mahmoud Abu Saan was "killed this morning by live bullets from the occupation (Israel) in Tulkarm".

Also on Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead another Palestinian, Mahmoud Abu Saan, 18, in the West Bank community of Tulkarm.

Since early last year, the West Bank has seen a string of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli targets, in response to Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities and regular raids by Israeli occupation forces.

In a statement Saturday, the Israeli army cited Palestinian reports and witnesses as saying clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli civilians who were herding sheep near Burqa village.

Both sides threw rocks, the Palestinians let off fireworks and "Israeli civilians shot towards the Palestinians," the occupation army said.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. Excluding occupied Jerusalem, the territory is home to nearly three million Palestinians and around 490,000 Israelis who live in settlements considered illegal, constituting a flagrant violation under international law.

Incidents rising

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA on Friday said it had recorded 591 settler-related attacks in the occupied West Bank in the first six months of 2023 resulting in Palestinian casualties, property damage, or both.

"That's an average of 99 incidents every month, and a 39-percent-increase compared with the monthly average of the whole of 2022, which is 71," spokesman Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva.


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