Palestinian fighters kill Israeli soldier in occupied West Bank

Israeli soldiers walk near the site where an Israeli soldier was killed by gunfire in the occupied West Bank (Majdi Mohammed - AP)

Al-Jazeera  /  October 11, 2022

The killing of an Israeli soldier near an illegal settlement comes days after another was shot dead at a checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem.

An Israeli soldier has been shot dead near an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank in an attack claimed by a Palestinian group, the second such assault on armed forces within days.

The Israeli army said the soldier was killed on Tuesday when “two assailants arrived in a vehicle adjacent to the community of Shavei Shomron and shot live fire”.

The shooting in the Israeli settlement was claimed by the Lions’ Den, a loose coalition of Palestinian fighters that has emerged in recent months.

“We announce carrying out a second shooting operation targeting occupation [Israeli] soldiers in the Deir Sharaf area, west of Nablus,” the group said.

The area is located between Nablus and Jenin, Palestinian towns that have seen a half-year of intensified army incursions launched by Israel after a wave of street attacks in Israeli cities.

Israeli forces are looking for those who carried out the attack, the military added in its statement. According to AFP news agency, Israeli forces were deployed in the area and checking vehicles.

In a Twitter post, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz promised he would “get our hands on the terrorist and those who helped him”.

The soldier killed was named as 21-year-old Ido Baroukh.

The killing comes three days after an 18-year-old Israeli soldier was shot dead at a checkpoint by the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat, in occupied east Jerusalem.

Onderkant formulier

Israeli forces are continuing a manhunt for the alleged gunman, identified by police as a 22-year-old Palestinian resident of the city.

Israeli forces shut the entrances to the refugee camp and the United Nations said schools there closed on Monday.

‘Collective punishment’

Palestinian Knesset member Ahmad Tibi visited the camp on Tuesday and described the “suffering” of residents.

“Sick people are not able to get outside to be treated, bakeries are empty, some physicians and doctors and nurses were not able to get in,” he told AFP news agency.

“In order to get out, you need to wait in your car, three or four hours. This is suffering, this is collective punishment,” Tibi added.

Meanwhile, four Palestinian teenagers have been shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since Friday, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

A fifth Palestinian, a 12-year-old boy, died on Monday from wounds sustained last month during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The Israeli army and other security forces have launched near-daily West Bank raids in recent months, mainly in Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance is becoming more organized and new groups of fighters have been formed.

More than 80 Palestinians, including fighters and civilians, have been killed since January, in what the European Commission described as the deadliest year in the occupied West Bank since 2008.

Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead in May while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.

At least 20 Palestinian minors have been killed in the West Bank this year, according to United Nations data.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War. Palestinian leaders seek these territories for a future state.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international laws. Successive Israeli governments have built and expanded settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories – a move Palestinians say is aimed at demographic change.

There are at least 600,000 Israeli settlers living in some 250 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, often under heavy Israeli military protection.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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Palestine: Second Israeli soldier killed as West Bank violence escalates

Middle East Eye  /  October 11, 2022

Attack claimed by Nablus-based group as tensions rise following death of four Palestinian teenagers over the weekend.

An Israeli soldier shot in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday has been pronounced dead following an attack claimed by Nablus-based Palestinian militant group Lion’s Den, according to a spokesperson for the Israeli military.

Security sources were searching for the gunmen, who opened fire from a passing car, according to Haaretz.

The soldier was shot near Shavei Shomron, an Israeli settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, during a settler march headed to the nearby Palestinian town of Sebastia. They were the second soldier killed in the West Bank in four days.

The shooting follows rising tensions in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, which have escalated following a number of killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces and the beginning of the week-long Jewish Sukkot holiday. 

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday morning, hours after it killed two more minors, including a 14-year-old boy, near Qalqilya and Ramallah. 

Residents of occupied East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp have been besieged in the neighbourhood for four days, with some unable to leave to receive critical health treatments and many basic supplies running low, as Israeli forces enforce a strict blockade.

Israeli troops locked down the camp, located just two kilometres from the Old City, after an Israeli soldier was killed on Saturday by a man who approached a checkpoint leading to the camp and opened fire.

Israeli police identified the suspect, who is still at large, as Udi Tamimi, a 22-year-old Palestinian resident of Shuafat. Israeli media reports said Tamimi’s mother, father and brother had all been detained.

‘Tragic’

Israeli forces have also closed all entrances to the town of Anata, and the suburb of al-Salam, northeast of East Jerusalem.

The Shuafat camp was reported to be swarming with Israeli soldiers on Monday as the search for the suspect continued.

“The incursions are continuing and large military forces are entering the camp, raising their weapons towards the people,” said Thaer al-Fasfos, an activist and member of the camp’s popular committee.

“Special [Israeli] units are also on the ground, causing injuries to people, with no one able to help or assist them.” 

Describing the situation within Shuafat as “tragic”, Fasfos said: “Many patients need to go to hospitals in Jerusalem but have been unable to do so.

“There are a lot of cases who need dialysis, as well as cancer patients who are unable to get access to treatment or chemotherapy in Hadassah Ein Kerem.”

More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 50 in the Gaza Strip and at least 110 in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

The death toll rate in the West Bank is the highest recorded in a single year since 2015. 

Al-Aqsa stormed

Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday, the second day of Sukkot.

Inside the settlers performed prayers after Israeli police cleared the compound of Muslim worshippers.

Other settlers marched through the streets of the Old City while holding rituals near the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinians have been outraged by repeated intrusions by settlers to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

By long-standing convention, non-Muslim tourists are allowed to visit under certain conditions and the approval of the Waqf, an Islamic trust that manages the mosque’s affairs, but only Muslims are allowed to pray there. 

Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, issued a statement on Saturday saying he was “alarmed at the deteriorating security situation” and urged Israeli and Palestinian authorities to “restore calm and avoid further escalations”.
 
On Monday, the Palestinian foreign ministry urged the international community to hold Israel accountable for killing more than 160 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.

“Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children and minors with the stated aim of killing and maiming them, thus denying them their right to life,” the ministry said.

“Children must never be killed or maimed. The State of Palestine warns that Israel’s escalating crimes and deliberate targeting of Palestinian children will continue unabatedly and exponentially if accountability is not urgently and effectively pursued.”