Sunday, December 3, 2023

Dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers, settlers in West Bank, East Jerusalem: Health ministry

Violence has risen in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Israel declared its war on Hamas and continued to strike Gaza on Saturday, leaving a total of 29 Palestinians dead and 150 injured, the Palestinian health ministry said on Wednesday evening.

Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers Wednesday in the village of Qusra, south of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the head of the Qusra council, Abdelathim Wadi, told CNN. Several other people were injured.

Two of those killed by settler gunfire were adolescents, the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday, adding a total of nine people were injured.

Settlers “protected by Israeli forces” also opened fire on farmers in the town of Kafr al-Dik and the village of Marda, east of Nablus, the foreign ministry statement added.

Settlers, according to international law, are Israeli civilians living in illegal settlements in the West Bank and have been accused of carrying out acts of violence – physical assault, property damage, and harassment – against Palestinians.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli military forces erupted in several areas in the occupied West Bank amid a closure that was imposed by the military following Hamas’ attack Saturday.

The closure includes checkpoints and roadblocks set up by the Israeli military at various entry and exit points – and limits the movement of Palestinians within the West Bank and between the West Bank and Israel, according to several Palestinian residents who spoke to CNN on Wednesday.

Palestinians living in the West Bank told CNN the closure has significantly impacted their daily lives, restricting their ability to travel for work, school, medical treatment, and other essential activities.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said earlier this week that the military was on high alert in the West Bank, adding it was preparing to thwart any potential attacks.

“Anyone who challenges us in Judea and Samaria will be met with huge force,” Hagari stated, using the biblical name for the West Bank.

Two Palestinians were also killed in clashes with Israeli police in the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, the Red Crescent said in a statement, adding that paramedics were “prevented from entering Silwan to evacuate those who sustained gun wounds”.

“The two bodies were taken away by Israeli forces,” the statement read.

Officers shot dead two people who launched fireworks at a close range and threw stones at officers operating in the area, Israeli police said in a statement Tuesday.

One of the officers was hit by the fireworks, the statement added.

Israeli police on Wednesday raided the wake tent held by the family of one of the men killed, a resident of Silwan told CNN.

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