Palestinian father killed by Israeli forces while ‘trying to prevent son’s arrest’

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  January 12, 2023

The 41-year-old reportedly shot dead at Qalandia camp as Israeli forces attempted to seize his son.

The Israeli military killed a third Palestinian in less than 24 hours in the early hours of Thursday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Samir Awni Harbi Aslan, 41-years-old, was shot in the chest at the Qalandia refugee camp in the suburbs of occupied East Jerusalem, and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

According to eyewitness accounts reported by Palestinian media, Aslan was trying to protect his son from being arrested by the Israeli military when he was shot.

Aslan’s death follows the killing of two Palestinians on Wednesday in separate incidents in the West Bank at the hands of Israeli forces.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Ahmad Abu Junaid, 21, was shot in the head and critically wounded during a morning raid by the army on Nablus’s Balata refugee camp. 

Palestinian media said an undercover Israeli army force raided the Balata camp early in the morning. The raid prompted confrontations involving stone-throwing and exchanges of gunfire. 

According to Israeli medics, elsewhere in the West Bank, a Palestinian man was shot after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli settler in Hebron. He was identified as 19-year-old Sanad Mohammad Samasra. 

Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far this year, including three teenagers. The youngest victim was 15.

Daily raids

According to data compiled by Middle East Eye, Israeli forces killed more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2022 than in a single calendar year since the Second Intifada.

At least 220 people were killed in Israeli attacks across the occupied territories, including 48 children. Of the total death toll, 167 were from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 53 were from the Gaza Strip. 

According to UN data, nearly 9,500 Palestinians from the West Bank were also wounded last year.

An additional five Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed in the same period. Meanwhile, in 2022 Palestinians  killed at least 29 Israelis, including one child, the highest death toll since 2008.


Israel kills Palestinian man ‘standing on roof’ of his home

Zena al-Tahhan

Al-Jazeera  /  January 12, 2023

Sameer Aslan, 41, was killed during an Israeli army raid on the Qalandiya refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – The Israeli army has killed a Palestinian man as he was standing on the roof of his home during a raid on a refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian officials.

Sameer Aslan, 41, was pronounced dead on Thursday at dawn by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, which said he was shot in the chest in the Qalandiya refugee camp.

Officials told Al-Jazeera that Aslan, a father of eight, was shot by an Israeli sniper while standing with other family members on the roof of their home watching the raid.

He was killed about 10 minutes after his 17-year-old son, Ramzi, was arrested by the Israeli army from their home.

Following the arrest, “the whole family went up to the roof to see what was happening when they heard loud screams and that one of their other sons was injured”, Zakariya Fayyaleh, an official with the Palestinian Authority, which runs the camp, told Al-Jazeera.

“Sameer, his wife, three of the daughters and several of the sons were on the roof when an Israeli sniper fired at the family and shot Sameer directly in the chest,” he continued.

“His sons carried him down and tried to take him to the hospital. A large army force stopped them and put Sameer down on the ground. They left him bleeding on the ground for a while before they let us take him again – he passed away upon arrival at the hospital,” continued Fayyaleh.

Videos shared by residents and local media outlets, verified by Al-Jazeera, show Aslan lying on the ground surrounded by Israeli soldiers.

“Sameer was one of my closest friends, I had a brotherly relationship with him,” Fayyaleh said, adding that Aslan worked at a butcher shop in the town of al-Ram.

The official added that the manner in which the Israeli army had raided the Qalandiya refugee camp was “unprecedented”, describing it as a “frenzied and fierce attack”.

“It is the first time they raid the camp like this – the size of the force, the number of homes they raided. They destroyed people’s belongings – they even assaulted women,” he continued, adding that snipers positioned themselves on rooftops.

Israeli forces arrested at least 18 people from the camp during the raid, according to Fayyaleh and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS).

The raid began at approximately 3am local time (00:00 GMT) and included dozens of armoured vehicles and special forces. Confrontations with the youth throwing stones broke out.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the raid on the camp came as part of its “Break the Wave” campaign. It said that during the raid “suspects threw stones and cement blocks from the roofs of the houses at the forces in a way that endangered the lives of the fighters, who responded by dispersing demonstrations and shooting”, adding that “an injury was detected”, without confirming the death.

The Qalandiya area falls under the Jerusalem governorate, but it was separated from the city by Israel’s Separation Wall – the building of which began in 2002.

The refugee camp, built in 1949, now falls in East Jerusalem and Area C, under full Israeli military control.

Aslan is the seventh Palestinian to be killed by the Israeli army since the start of 2023, including three children. He is also the third Palestinian killed in less than 24 hours.

On Wednesday evening, Israeli forces killed 18-year-old Sanad Samamreh after he allegedly carried out a stabbing attack in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Earlier that day, the army shot dead 21-year-old Ahmad Abu Junaid during a raid on the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The developments come as a result of a continuing Israeli military campaign of intensified raids and killings that has lasted almost a year.

On Thursday morning, the Israeli army raided the city of Nablus, including the Old City. At least seven Palestinians have been reported injured by Israeli live fire, according to the health ministry.

The United Nations said 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2006.

More than 30 children were among the dead last year, and at least 9,000 other Palestinians were injured.

Israeli forces have killed civilians confronting them during raids, uninvolved bystanders, as well as Palestinian fighters in targeted assassinations and during armed clashes.