Palestinian killed as Jewish settlers attack West Bank town of Huwara

Al-Jazeera  /  October 6, 2023

The killing of 19-year-old Labib Dumaidi comes amid a period of rising violence of Jewish settlers across the West Bank.

A Palestinian has been killed when a group of settlers attacked the town of Huwara, amid a surge in settler violence across the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Labib Dumaidi, 19, was shot in the heart by a Jewish settler, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Friday.

Relatives said he had sought refuge on the roof of his home, which was under assault from settlers, when a settler shot him.

The Israeli military has offered a different account, stating that a suspect was shot after throwing a brick at a vehicle, but offering no details on the victim’s identity.

“More than 200 settlers gathered in the middle of Huwara after midnight, shouting and dancing, some of them with covered faces,” Palestinian resident Abderrahman Dmidi told the news agency AFP.

“They began throwing stones towards some houses, and then the young people … tried to defend their homes by throwing stones,” he added. Residents said Israeli soldiers turned a blind eye to the violence.

“It’s clear that the settler militias are protected by the occupation’s soldiers,” Thaer Qawareeq, an employee at a supermarket damaged by the settlers in Huwara, told the Reuters news agency. He added that it was the third time that settlers had assaulted the store.

The killing of Dumaidi, a university student, has come amid a rise in settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, including instances of mob violence targeting Palestinian towns and residents, often in the presence of Israeli soldiers. Some of the assaults have followed attacks by Palestinians on Israeli settlements and settlers.

The attack on Friday came a day after a Palestinian gunman shot at an Israeli car in Huwara. The town is located on a road between the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Ramallah and is surrounded by Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the killing of Dumaidi a “heinous crime”.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that at least 51 Palestinians were injured during a funeral procession for Dumaidi, as Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-tipped bullets, and live fire.

Settler violence against Palestinians has seen a substantial uptick over the last year, occurring at a rate of three per day for the first eight months of 2023, according to the United Nations.

While Palestinian attacks on residents of Jewish settlements often meet harsh countermeasures, accountability from Israeli authorities in cases of settler violence has been rare. Palestinians have said that the impunity is part of a deliberate campaign to push them off their land.

Huwara itself has been the scene of some of the most notable recent cases of settler violence: following the slaying of two Israeli brothers by a Palestinian in February, a mob of right-wing settlers rampaged through the town, firing weapons and killing a 37-year-old man.

Israel’s far-right Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich aroused controversy when he commented that Huwara should be “wiped out” several days after. 



Jewish settler kills Palestinian teenager in Huwara rampage

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  October 6, 2023

19-year-old reportedly shot dead by settler, hours after Israeli troops killed another Palestinian in the West Bank town.

A young Palestinian man was killed on Friday as Jewish settlers attacked the occupied West Bank town of Huwara, just hours after Israeli forces killed another Palestinian in the area, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. 

A settler shot 19-year-old Labeeb Mohammed Dmaidi in the heart, after dozens of settlers carried out attacks on Palestinian property in Huwara under the protection of Israeli troops, according to WAFA.

The settlers damaged homes and buildings, and confronted Palestinian locals, who gathered to fend off the attacks. 

WAFA later reported that Dmaidi’s funeral was also attacked by Israeli soldiers, wounding at least eight people.

The Israeli military’s account of the killing differed – it said that a Palestinian threw a rock at a soldier, who fired back, adding that “a hit was identified”. 

A spokesperson for the Israeli military further told Reuters that it was not aware of a settler having fired a weapon. 

The Israeli army said that it intervened with “riot dispersal means to defuse the confrontation” between the Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents. 

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it treated at least 58 people who had suffered from tear gas inhalation.

The military added that it had received reports of “vandalism of the properties of Palestinian residents of the town by Israeli civilians”.

Earlier on Thursday night, Israeli forces tracked down and shot dead a Palestinian man who they suspected of firing shots at an Israeli family in a vehicle in Huwara. No members of the family were harmed. 

The Palestinian man was not immediately identified by authorities. 

Bloody year

In February, Jewish settler attacks were carried out on several Palestinian towns in and around Huwara, with homes and property burnt, after two Israelis were killed while driving through the town. At least one Palestinian was killed and nearly 400 wounded in the attacks.

This year has been one of the bloodiest in the occupied West Bank for Palestinians in two decades. 

At least 197 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in 2023 so far, including 27 children. Another 37 have been killed in the Gaza Strip, including seven children. 

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