Israeli forces kill three Palestinians during raids in West Bank and Negev/Naqab

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  March 15, 2022

Nine Palestinians also wounded during Israeli night raids in the Qalandia and Balata refugee camps near Ramallah and Nablus.

Israeli forces killed three Palestinians and wounded nine others on Monday across the occupied West Bank and Israel’s Negev/Naqab desert.

The shootings bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of the year to 20, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Palestine’s Ministry of Health said that nine Palestinians were wounded during Israeli night raids in the Qalandia and Balata refugee camps, near Ramallah and Nablus. 

Wafa reported that Nader Haitham Rayan, 17, was killed in Balata refugee camp after bullets struck him in the head, abdomen and hand during an Israeli night raid.

An eyewitness told Middle East Eye that Rayan was on his way to a stall selling tea and coffee which belongs to his family when Israeli forces opened fire at him and his friend while they were riding on a motorbike.

“I tried to carry Nader but he was heavily bleeding and unconscious. His friend was crying and shouting that Nader became a martyr.

“We took him to the hospital but he had lost his life before we reached it,” the eyewitness told MEE, adding that Nader and his friend did not pose a threat to Israeli forces in the area.

Nader used to sell coffee and tea in the early hours of the morning before going to school.

Jamal Rayyan, a Palestinian journalist (no relation), told MEE that Israeli forces had raided Balata camp at around 5:30am to arrest Ammar Arafat, who is wanted by Israeli security forces for allegedly forming an armed group in Nablus.

Israeli intelligence had urged Arafat to hand himself in, which he refused and stayed inside Balata refugee camp.

Armed resistance

Rayyan confirmed that Arafat was arrested by the Israeli forces, who were met with armed fighters while retreating from the area.

“The intensity of clashes with the occupation forces had increased in the last periods to block raids and prevent Palestinians being arrested by Israeli forces,” Rayyan said.

He added that the mood in Nablus on Tuesday was sad, and all shops had shuttered their doors and schools suspended their day and declared a mourning event.

Israeli forces said in a statement that the incident happened during an arrest operation and that two men had shot at undercover forces in Nablus, according to Haaretz. Nader Haitham Rayan was taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus, where he was pronounced dead.

On Monday night, Alaa Shahaam, another Palestinian in his 20s, was shot in the head and killed in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah.

Sanad al-Harbad, 27, a father of three, was killed in the Palestinian-majority town of Rahat inside Israel. Wafa said an Israeli special forces police officer shot at Harbad on Monday night.

Nine Palestinians have been wounded during violence prompted by the killings in the West Bank. Six of them were near Ramallah. 

Wafa said that three Palestinians suffered severe wounds from live bullets hitting them in the chest. One was also hit in the leg, and another also suffered facial and neck burns caused by a stun grenade.

Israeli forces carry out night-time raids on a near-daily basis in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Some of these raids are aimed at arresting Palestinians, but others are part of a policy of “intelligence mapping”, whereby Israeli forces storm Palestinian houses to inspect them and record the names and faces of the residents.