Israeli troops kill Palestinian man near Hebron/Al-Khalil

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  February 9, 2023

Sharif Hassan Rabah, 22, becomes the 43rd Palestinian killed by Israeli fire this year.

Israeli forces killed a 22-year-old Palestinian man on Thursday near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron/Al-Khalil. 

Sharif Hassan Rabah was shot dead by soldiers stationed at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, the Palestinian Health ministry said. 

The Israeli army said troops shot Rabah after he approached the force “and tried to stab one of the soldiers”. No Israeli casualties were reported. 

Rabah became the 43rd Palestinian killed by Israeli fire this year, a rate of nearly one death per day.

The Israeli army has been criticized by rights groups for its “shoot-to-kill” policy used against Palestinians even when victims posed no danger to soldiers.

The killing of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers is rarely investigated by the military. 

Hamza al-Ashkar, 17, was shot in the face and killed by Israeli troops in Nablus earlier this week, a day after five Palestinians were killed in an army raid on Jericho. 

Last year, Israeli forces killed at least 167 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in the region in a single calendar year since the Second Intifada

In December, UN experts condemned Israel for the record violence and warned that 2023 could witness a higher number of casualties. 

“Unless Israeli forces abandon this dominant Jewish settler mindset and rightfully treat Palestinians in the occupied territory as protected persons, Israel’s deplorable record in the occupied West Bank will likely deteriorate further in 2023,” they said. 

CIA director William Burns warned last week that current tensions between Israelis and Palestinians bear an “unhappy resemblance” to the Second Intifada. 

He added that the CIA is working with Israeli and Palestinian security services to prevent “explosions of violence” but admitted that it’s “going to be a big challenge”.