Palestinian killed in Israeli army raid near Nablus

Alaa Zaghal (21) was fatally shot in the head (Social media)

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  October 5, 2022

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian fighter after three-hour long fire exchange.

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man and wounded others near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday during an army raid, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The victim, who was hit with a bullet to the head, was identified as 21-year-old Alaa Nasser Ahmed Zaghal. 

A large Israeli force, accompanied by army bulldozers, stormed Deir al-Hatab village near Nablus in the afternoon before surrounding a residential building and shooting at people inside. 

The building reportedly housed Palestinian fighter Salman Omar, who returned fire for three hours before he ran out of ammunition and was later arrested by the Israeli army.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a Fatah-affiliated armed group, said its fighters responded to the raid with live fire as street fights with Israeli forces were reported in several locations. The Israeli army confirmed in a brief statement that it was operating in the area. 

At least five Palestinians were wounded, including journalists Mahmoud Faouzi and Louay al-Samhan. 

The raid comes amid high alert across Israel and Palestine, and sweeping restrictions on Palestinians as Israelis observe the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Israeli forces have ramped up their near-daily raid-and-arrest operations across the West Bank in recent months to stamp out a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance, particularly in the northern cities of Nablus and Jenin.  

More than 165 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 51 in the Gaza Strip and at least 110 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The death toll in the West Bank is the highest on record in a single year since 2015.

At least two Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian fire since May.


Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian, wound two journalists

Al-Jazeera  /  October 5, 2022

A Palestinian man was shot dead and at least two others were injured in the town of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus.

A Palestinian man has been shot dead and at least two others have been injured by Israeli forces in the town of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Alaa Zaghal, 21, “died of a bullet wound to the head fired by the occupation [Israeli] army,” a statement on Wednesday read.

At least six other Palestinians, including two journalists, were wounded by Israeli fire, medics at the scene said.

The Israeli army confirmed it was conducting a military operation in the village of Deir al-Hatab.

Local residents said the army had surrounded a house inside the village, killing Zaghal and shooting at a local media crew that was covering the incident.

Two journalists from Palestine TV were shot by Israeli soldiers, one in the hand and another in the shoulder, pictures released by the television station showed. Mahmoud Fawzy and Loai Samhan were seen bleeding and being taken away by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

The violence was the latest to hit the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, an area that has seen near-daily raids, many of them deadly, by Israeli troops since March.

Nablus has increasingly become a target for Israeli operations following the emergence of a new armed faction, a loose coalition of Palestinian fighters called the Lions’ Den.

The arrest of one of the group’s members by Palestinian Authority security forces last month sparked clashes in the city between security forces and local gunmen, killing one.

On Monday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah.

The Israeli military said soldiers went into the camp to apprehend an individual suspected of “terror activity”.

During Monday’s operation, “two suspects attempted to carry out a ramming attack against IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with fire and neutralized the two suspects”, said the Israeli military.

The account was disputed by a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said the troops had carried out an “execution”.

“Such a reckless policy will not bring security or stability for anyone,” said the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

The bodies of the two men were taken away by Israeli forces. This policy of holding the bodies of alleged Palestinian attackers denies families from burying their loved ones, rights groups say.

Ramy Abdu, the founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, said Israel’s withholding the bodies of Palestinians is an act of collective violence that is considered a war crime.

“Articles in the Geneva Conventions assure the necessity of burying the bodies of deceased detainees or those who were killed with respect according to procedures that are appropriate with their religious culture,” he told Al Jazeera.