Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in occupied West Bank

Four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in less than 48 hours in separate incidents.

A photo of people taken from above as they gather on the street around a destroyed building
Israeli forces raided Yabad to destroy the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who was killed during an attack near Tel Aviv in March [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

A 17-year-old Palestinian has been killed by Israeli forces near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestine Red Crescent Society has said.

Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted the Red Crescent as saying that the boy, identified as Odeh Mohammed Odeh, arrived at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah with “a bullet wound to the chest”. He was shot by Israeli forces in al-Midya, a village west of Ramallah, it added.

“Doctors tried to save his life, but he died of as a result of a very critical injury,” the Red Crescent was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Odeh was the fourth Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in two days.

Ayman Mahmoud Mheisen, 29, was killed on Thursday morning during a pre-dawn Israeli military raid on the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Mheisen was a father of three and a former prisoner who spent three years in Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoner rights groups said.

Separately, Israeli forces killed 24-year-old Bilal Awad Qabaha during a raid on the village of Yabad, outside of Jenin city in the northern West Bank late on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Qabaha was in a critical condition when he was transferred to a hospital in Jenin, where he died.

The army had raided Yabad in the evening to destroy the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who carried out a shooting attack on March 29 in the town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, killing five people. Hamarsheh was killed in a shoot-out with Israeli police at the scene.

The army also arrested Hamarsheh’s 59-year-old father, Ahmad, after the demolition.

[Translation: The moment the Diaa Hamarsheh family home was blown up in Yabad south of Jenin]

Israel destroys the homes of Palestinian assailants as part of a policy that has long been criticised by rights groups as collective punishment towards their families and towns.

Confrontations broke out with the Israeli army in Yabad shortly after the raid began, with several serious live ammunition injuries reported.

On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces shot dead Palestinian female journalist Ghufran Warasneh, 31, at the entrance to the Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army claimed she was in possession of a knife and had tried to stab soldiers, but witnesses told Al Jazeera that Warasneh, who was on the third day of a new job at a radio station, had posed little threat.

Israeli forces attacked Warasneh’s funeral procession at the camp on Wednesday, firing live bullets at mourners and tear gas directly into the crowd. At least one Palestinian was seriously wounded and being treated in hospital after being hit by a live bullet during the funeral.

[Translation: The martyr Ghufran Warasneh was about to begin a professional journey in one of the local radio stations. The occupation killed her and then attacked her funeral procession and her coffin, like it attacked many funerals before …]

Warasneh is the second Palestinian journalist to be killed by Israeli forces in less than a month.

On May 11, the Israeli army shot dead Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering a military raid in Jenin. Israeli forces also attacked her funeral procession in occupied East Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent it from advancing on foot.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces have killed 61 Palestinians since January 1.

Local and international rights groups have condemned what they call Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians, including suspected assailants, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Senior Israeli politicians – including Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – have encouraged the use of lethal force and given orders to shoot Palestinians who did not pose an imminent threat.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has noted in reports that Israeli forces “often use firearms against Palestinians on mere suspicion or as a precautionary measure, in violation of international standards”.

A string of Palestinian attacks since March has killed 19 people in Israel.

Israeli forces increased the intensity of their raids, including in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in raids conducted by Israeli forces and settlers at the compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and during Sunday’s Israeli far-right “Jerusalem Day” parade in and around the Old City.

Source: Al Jazeera