West Bank Dispatch: six Palestinians killed in three days

Mondoweiss Palestine Bureau  /  May 4, 2023 

Over three days, six Palestinians were killed by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, including veteran Palestinian prisoner and hunger-striker Khader Adnan.

Key developments (May 1 – May 4)

  • A Palestinian youth was critically injured on Monday, May 1st, when Israeli forces raided the Palestinian town of Beit Jala, outside the local hospital. According to local media, confrontations erupted near the Beit Jala Governmental hospital, with Israeli forces firing live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades at Palestinians. A 20-year-old young man was critically injured when he was struck with an expanding bullet in the back. The Ministry of Health said the bullet “pierced his lower back and thoracic cavity, completely rupturing his right lung.” According to the ministry, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters into the hospital yards, forcing parts of the hospital to shut down and causing tear gas suffocation among staff and patients.  According to Mondoweissdocumentation, at least five attacks on Palestinian medical facilities occurred this year.
  • Palestinian prisonerKhader Adnan died on Tuesday, May 2, on the 86th-day of his hunger strike, protesting his arbitrary arrest and detention by Israel. Following Adnan’s death, which Palestinian resistance groups are regarding as an “assassination” and “deliberate execution,” Palestinians observed a general strike in the occupied West Bank. In Gaza, the death of the prominent activist, who was affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement, prompted rocket fire from Gaza into Israel from the “joint operations room” of various political factions in Gaza. The rocket fire from Gaza was met with a swift response from Israel’s military, which bombed several locations across Gaza. On the morning of May 3rd, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported that Israeli shelling had killed a Palestinian man, 58-year-old Hashel Mubarak, in the northern Gaza Strip. According to a social media post from Mubarak’s family, “A huge stone brick fell on Hashel’s body while he was sleeping peacefully in his home in Beit Lahiya. The stone was flung from its place due to the heavy bombardment of the area.”
  • A Palestinian man in his 20s was reportedly critically injured by Israeli army fire, following a traffic dispute at a flying army checkpoint outside the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday May 3rd. According to Palestinian journalist Jalal Abu Akhter and Al Quds news and Al-Qastal news, the young man was Anas Abu Hussein, 29, from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber. “Yesterday, Anas was working when his path was obstructed by Israeli occupation soldiers near Bethlehem. Following a verbal argument, the soldiers shot him six times. He remains hospitalized in critical condition,” Abu Akhter wrote on Twitter, along with video footage purporting to show the incident. 
  • On Wednesday, May 3rd, Israeli forces demolished the homes of two Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis in 2022. In the village of Hares, near the city of Salfit, Israeli forces demolished the family home of Mohammed Souf, 18, who carried out a stabbing and car-ramming in the industrial zone of the illegal Ariel settlement that killed three Israelis in November 2022. Separately, in the Qalqilya-area village of Hajja, Israeli forces demolished the family home of Palestinian prisoner Younes Hilan, who was accused of stabbing and killing a Jewish settler in October 2022. 
  • Three Palestinian men were killed on Thursday, May 4th, during an Israeli military operation in Nablus city. The men were killed when Israeli forces raided the Al-Yasminah quarter of the Old City, home to the local Lion’s Den armed resistance group. The three men killed were identified as Moath Masri, Ibrahim Jabr and Hasan Qatanani and were identified by the Hamas movement as members of the group’s military wing. An Israeli military spokesperson said the men were responsible for the killing of three British-Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley last month. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, two of the men suffered extensive bullet wounds to their faces that made it difficult to identify them. According toWafa News Agency, Israeli forces targeted one specific house in the Al-Yasminah quarter, using heavy gunfire and an “anti-tank rifle grenade” to target the men inside. Israeli forces also reportedly prevented medical crews from approaching the area. An additional two Palestinians were injured during the raid and were taken to hospital by Palestinian medics. 
  • Also on Thursday, May 4th, just a few kilometers south of Nablus, Israeli forces shot and killed a woman in the town of Huwwara. Eman Ziyad Odeh, 26. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said she was killed with a bullet to the chest. The Israeli army claimed Odeh stabbed and injured an Israeli man. Huwwara has been the site of increased tensions and settler violence over the past few months, with mobs of settlers launching a number of pogroms on the town, backed by calls from Israeli ministers to“wipe out”  Following the killing of Odeh, confrontations erupted in the town between local youth and Israeli forces. At least four Palestinians were injured after being struck with rubber-coated bullets. 
  • At least nine Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire on Thursday, May 4th, during an Israeli army raid on the Ramallah-area towns of Beit Rima and Nabi Saleh. Dozens of others reportedly suffered from tear gas inhalation. Wafa News Agency added, “Israeli forces deliberately set a vehicle owned by a Palestinian resident on fire after targeting it with several gas bombs.”

Important figures:

  • 108 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 
  • 20 of the Palestinians killed this year were women and children.