Friday, February 3, 2023

Palestinian teenager killed by Israeli soldiers in West Bank

Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid on a refugee camp in the southern part of the West Bank. It comes less than 24 hours after two Palestinian men lost their lives in a similar Israeli attack in a village near the city of Jenin.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing security sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that confrontations broke out after Israeli forces raided Dheisheh refugee camp, located just south of Bethlehem, early on Tuesday.

The soldiers fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets as well as sound grenades and tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd.

Israeli troops also broke into and ransacked a number of houses in the camp before arresting a young man and taking him away to an unknown location.

The 15-year-old Adam Ayyad was struck with a live bullet in the chest and was taken to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another teenager was shot in the hand.

The brutal killing came on the day that far-right Israeli security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds under heavy security.

Ben-Gvir entered the site through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, in a move that threatens a backlash from Palestinians who have labeled the act an “unprecedented provocation.”

Ben-Gvir was sworn in as Israeli minister of security last week, becoming a key member of the regime’s most racist, far-right coalition cabinet ever led by long-running Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hardline Israeli officials and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli regime enables the Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa despite the fact that an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967 prohibits non-Muslim worship at the compound.

Back in May last year, an Israeli court upheld a ban on Jewish prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after an earlier lower court’s decision stirred outrage among various Palestinians and across the Muslim world. Judge of the district court in al-Quds Aryeh Romanov on October 8 confirmed that Jews are barred from worshiping openly at the site, and only Muslims are permitted to pray there.

The United Nations marked 2022 as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in 16 years.

Israeli forces killed more than 220 Palestinians last year, including at least 171 in the West Bank and occupied East al-Quds. There were more than 30 children among the fatalities. At least 9,000 others were injured as well.

The inauguration last week of the most right-wing regime in Israel, led by Netanyahu, has sparked fears of an escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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