The Electronic Intifada / March 4, 2022
Three Palestinians were killed in the occupied West Bank this week during attacks by Israeli occupation forces.
Soldiers harassed and then fatally shot a Palestinian student on Tuesday who appeared to pose no threat to them.
Ammar Abu Afifa sat with another Palestinian near some Israelis between Beit Fajjar village and the Migdal Oz settlement near Hebron/Al-Khalil, an occupied West Bank city.
Israeli occupation soldiers had approached “to identify them,” according to Tel Aviv daily Haaretz, when the two fled the area.
The soldiers then supposedly initiated an “arrest procedure” that involved firing in the air and then firing at the youths directly, killing Abu Afifa.
“No stones or any other potential weapons were discovered at the scene,” Haaretz reported, contradicting claims by Israel Army Radio that the 19-year-old was throwing stones.
Abu Afifa lived in Arroub refugee camp near Hebron. Local media circulated his picture following his killing:
Resistance in Jenin
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces invaded Jenin refugee camp overnight on Tuesday, killing two Palestinians, one an unarmed teenager.
An Israeli special Border Police unit raided the camp and detained a man there.
Palestinian resistance fighters shot at the invaders, Haaretz reported.
The Israeli forces then opened fire, killing Abdullah al-Husari, 22, a member of the Islamic Jihad resistance group’s Jenin Brigade.
Islamic Jihad’s statement praising Al-Husari for his sacrifice on behalf of Palestinians noted that he had formerly been a prisoner in Israeli jails.
Local media reported that Al-Husari was listed on a Palestinian Authority wanted list months ago.
The Palestinian Authority has since its creation in the mid-1990s maintained close cooperation with Israeli occupation forces under the banner of “security coordination.”
The second Palestinian, Shadi Jihad Nijm, was not armed when he was fatally shot in the exchange and did not take part in the fighting, Haaretz reported, citing local accounts.
He ran a shop to support his family and was going home from work when he was killed.
Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, said Nijm was a member of the Hizam al-Nar resistance group.
Unrest in Jerusalem
The killings occurred against the backdrop of Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem as well as developments in the resistance to Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Israel’s highest court ruled that the families may stay in their homes until a final decision is made regarding property rights.
Partially accepting the residents’ appeal, Haaretz reported, the court is permitting them to stay while paying an annual amount to a trust account until a final resolution is reached.
This procedure can take “months to years,” the neighborhood committee stated.
This decision will directly affect four families, but may also set a precedent for 13 other families.
“The threat of dispossession is still looming over our community,” the committee added.
“Therefore, we must rely on continual and persistent grassroots efforts until this battle is officially over and our families – and all Palestinian families – can live in their homes without fear of expulsion.”
The May 2021 Israeli assault on Gaza came in the context of Israel’s attempt to forcibly expel Palestinians from homes in Sheikh Jarrah last Ramadan.
The Israeli assault on the families sparked resistance across Palestine and solidarity around the world.
Attacks on children
Israel might appear to be parking the Sheikh Jarrah issue to avoid another full-scale confrontation with Palestinians as Ramadan approaches this year.
But the attacks on Palestinians this week near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City suggest otherwise.
Videos circulated on social media show Israeli occupation forces attacking Palestinians at the site, including children, earlier this week.
Damascus Gate has traditionally been a place of festive gathering during the fasting month.
“At least two Palestinian children were seriously injured, including a deaf 11-year-old girl who is now being treated for a fractured jaw and a 6-month-old hit by stun grenade fragments,” UNICEF stated.
But the UN children’s agency failed to mention who was responsible for injuring the children.
Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada