Israel kills two Palestinians, destroys even more of Nur Shams camp

AJ Staff

Al-Jazeera  /  September 5, 2023

Ayed Abu Harb killed in a large-scale raid on Tulkarem’s Nur Shams camp, before another Palestinian killed by Israel in the Jordan Valley.

Tulkarem, occupied West Bank – Israeli forces have killed a young Palestinian man and seriously injured another during a large raid on a refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, damaging infrastructure in the camp.

Another Palestinian was killed hours later on Tuesday, after allegedly opening fire at Israeli soldiers in an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that the man killed in Tulkarem was 21-year-old Ayed Samih Khaled Abu Harb, noting he was shot in the head. A funeral procession was held for him at 11am.

Israeli forces, with armoured tractors, stormed the overcrowded Nur Shams refugee camp from several fronts at dawn, inciting armed resistance from Palestinian fighters.

They bulldozed the road leading to the camp, which is minutes from Tulkarem city, and destroyed a number of homes and shops, as well as infrastructure, before withdrawing three hours later.

‘They destroyed everything’

Taha al-Irani, head of the camp’s popular committee, spoke to Al Jazeera from the camp on Tuesday about the level of destruction and the shock of Abu Harb being killed and another man injured.

“I want to assure you that the martyr [Ayed], was just standing at his front door when he was killed, and the man in critical condition is a taxi driver who was headed to work,” al-Irani, 50, said.

“It’s total destruction in the camp … The main road tying the camp to other cities – to Tulkarem, Nablus, Ramallah – was partially destroyed.”

Nur Shams refugee camp, established in 1952, is one of the two camps in Tulkarem and was built to house Palestinian refugees from the Haifa area following the 1948 Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias.

Mohammad Abu Talal, a 39-year-old supermarket owner, told Al Jazeera: “The army entered with bulldozers and tractors. They destroyed the shop, they destroyed everything.”

​​​​​​​In a statement, the Tulkarem Directorate of Education announced that schools would be suspended on Tuesday.

233 Palestinians killed this year

Later on Tuesday, in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces said they killed a Palestinian who had opened fire towards a shopping mall in an illegal settlement near Route 90, the main highway in the region.

The Palestinian was named by the Palestinian Health Ministry as 17-year-old Mohammed Zubaidat.

Zubaidat reportedly injured an Israeli soldier before he was killed.

With the death of Abu Harb and Zubaidat, the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army since the beginning of this year has risen to 233.

The Israeli army said it arrested 21 Palestinian “wanted suspects” overnight on Tuesday alone. The total number of Palestinians held in various forms of Israeli detention is in the thousands.

Israeli forces destroyed infrastructure during the raid on September 5, 2023 [Ayman Nobani/Al Jazeera]

The Israeli army has been militarily occupying the West Bank, where some three million Palestinians live, for 56 years.

Over the past two years, Palestinian armed resistance has reorganised and risen in prominence, particularly in the north of the occupied West Bank. In response, Israel has been attempting to crush this resistance through near-daily raids on Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps that almost always result in casualties.

Nur Shams was targeted in another recent large-scale Israeli raid on July 24, during which at least 13 Palestinians were injured, including four with live ammunition and nine by shrapnel. Israeli forces also damaged infrastructure badly during that raid, forcing the Palestinian Authority to dedicate a portion of its budget to the camp’s reconstruction.

“Thank God that we haven’t put out tenders for reconstruction of roads and infrastructure [after the earlier raids] yet,” said al-Irani.

On August 5, the Israeli army raided the camp and shot 18-year-old Mahmoud Abu Sa’an in the head at point-blank range, killing him, the Health Ministry said. Abu Sa’an had just graduated from high school.

“If the Israeli thinks that he can achieve security and peace through his oppression and these crimes that he carries out, he is delusional. This would not come unless Palestinians are given their rights, to live in dignity in their state,” said al-Irani.

Reporting by Ayman Nobani in Nur Shams refugee camp



Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank refugee camp raid

Middle East Eye  /  September 5, 2023

Ayed Samih Khaled, 21, shot dead as Israeli bulldozers destroy roads and shops during incursion on Nour Shams camp.

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian during an overnight raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said on Tuesday. 

“Ayed Samih Khaled was shot by live occupation bullets fired to the head,” the ministry said. 

Israeli forces stormed the Nour Shams camp, near the city of Tulkarm, north of the West Bank, on Tuesday at dawn with a number of military vehicles and a bulldozer.

The Israeli army bulldozer destroyed a main road at the entrance of the camp linking Tulkarm to other West Bank towns and cities, including Nablus, WAFA news agency reported. 

Several vehicles and shops in the area were also destroyed and Israeli bullets struck the windows of homes, a mosque and a health clinic, according to Taha al-Irani, head of the camp’s popular committee. 

Violent confrontations broke out between camp residents and Israeli troops following the incursion. 

Khaled, 21, was transferred to the nearby Thabet Thabet hospital after being shot in the head by Israeli forces. He was declared dead shortly afterwards. 

Several others were reportedly wounded by Israeli live bullets during the raid.  

Third raid on Nour Shams camp 

Nour Shams is home to 13,519 Palestinian refugees officially registered by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA. The actual number of inhabitants is likely much higher. 

Tuesday’s raid was the third incursion into the camp by Israeli forces in the past two months. 

According to Irani, it was the worst one yet, with Israeli forces leaving “larger and more comprehensive destruction”.

“They destroyed everything, including shops and houses of worship,” Irani told Middle East Eye

“The military does not differentiate between civilian and non-civilian, they just destroy everything in their way.”

According to a tally by MEE, at least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this year, including 38 children. 

A total of 182 people have died in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, making 2023 one of the bloodiest years in the occupied territory. Another 36 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have killed at least 30 Israelis in the same period, including six children.