Two Palestinians killed by Israeli army, settlers in West Bank violence

Mahmoud Abu Sa’an, 18, killed during an Israeli raid in Tulkarem, while settlers later kill Qusai Matan, 19, in Burqa.

Israeli troops take position in the Nur Shams Palestinian refugee camp near in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem on April 10,2022, during a raid looking for suspects related to a gunman from Jenin who went on a shooting rampage in a popular Tel Aviv nightlife area on April 7, killing three Israelis and wounding more than a dozen others. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)
Israeli troops take position in the Nur Shams Palestinian refugee camp near in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem on April 10,2022, during a raid [File: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during one of their daily pre-dawn raids into the occupied West Bank, before another Palestinian teenager was killed in a separate incident by illegal settlers, according to local media and the Palestinian health ministry.

The Palestinian health ministry late on Friday announced the death of Qusai Jamal Maatan, 19, saying he was “shot dead by settlers in the village of Burqa”, east of Ramallah.

Armed settlers had stormed the village and sparked fighting with residents. The Israeli army said it was looking into the reports.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers had shot dead another young Palestinian, 18-year-old Mahmoud Abu Sa’an. He was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers at point-blank range as they stormed the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem early Friday, the health ministry said.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that local witnesses said an Israeli soldier got out of one of the military vehicles and shot Abu Sa’an in the head while he was lying on the ground.

Abu Sa’an, who had graduated from high school weeks earlier, was taken to Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarem where he was pronounced dead.

Later on Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said that armed Israeli settlers had entered the village of Burqa, east of the city of Ramallah, and shot and killed 19-year-old Qusai Matan. The Israeli army said it was looking into the reports.

“The youth of the village went out to confront them using stones. Settlers opened fire, they killed one person and wounded others,” said one witness who asked not to be named.

Translation: The young man Mahmoud Abu Sa’an who was martyred by occupation gunfire in the Tulkarm refugee camp at dawn today. He was among those who passed high school [exams] this year.

Tulkarem raid

Fierce confrontations broke out during the raid in Tulkarem between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces, which had snipers stationed on the rooftops of several Palestinian homes in the camp.

The raid sparked fighting with residents of the camp, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad armed group reported, with Israeli forces shooting tear gas, stun grenades and live fire and Palestinians hurling stones and opening fire at the soldiers.

Local media reports said that armed Palestinians targeted the Israeli army with homemade explosive devices, and that three wanted residents were arrested during Friday’s raid into the town.

The overnight Tulkarem raid was part of an Israeli military arrest operation. The army said it arrested five Palestinians in other occupied West Bank villages, confiscating explosives and dispersing protests in the village Biddu near the city of Ramallah.

The armed Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Tulkarem described Abu Sa’an’s killing as an execution.

“This unarmed young man did not possess weapons and had nothing to do with any military action,” the group said in a statement. “He is unarmed and was executed in a brutal manner.”

The Israeli military said soldiers shot at suspects who fired and hurled explosives and stones at troops operating around the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm. It said one person was hit but reported no injuries to its forces.

Fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank intensified early last year when Israel launched near-nightly raids into Palestinian areas.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip, with the majority of these fatalities recorded in the occupied West Bank.

Those figures indicate that 2023 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the United Nations began keeping track of fatalities in 2005.

At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis during that time.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies