Israeli forces kill Palestinian in new West Bank raid

Ahmad Massad
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Ahmad Massad, during his funeral in the village of Burqin, west of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, on April 27, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
JENIN, Palestinian Territories — Israeli occupation forces again killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Jenin Wednesday

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed as Ahmad Massad, 18, from Burqin village in the north of the occupied West Bank. He was shot in the head, a hospital official told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.اضافة اعلان

Israeli forces said that during the “operation” at Jenin’s refugee camp, troops used “live ammunition”, adding that 12 people were arrested in the overnight raids at several West Bank locations. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club group put the number of arrests at 17.

More than a thousand people gathered for Massad’s funeral in Burqin, and masked fighters fired volleys into the air as his body was taken from his family home.

A band with the logo of the Palestinian armed movement Islamic Jihad was wrapped around his forehead.

Israeli occupation forces have stepped up operations in recent weeks in the West Bank — particularly around Jenin.

Raad Hazem — who killed three Israelis in a shooting spree in a Tel Aviv nightlife district last month, before being shot dead after a massive man-hunt — hailed from Jenin’s refugee camp.

Gunman’s home targeted

During the overnight operation, Israel said it also delivered a demolition notice to Hazem’s family home.

The destruction of assailants’ homes is a common Israeli practice, and condemned by critics as an illegal form of collective punishment.

The Tel Aviv shooter’s father Fathi Hazem and brother Hamam are both wanted by Israel.

Hours after the demolition notice was handed over, the father appeared in a video that then circulated widely in Palestinian media.

He accused Israel of labelling all Palestinian youths as “terrorists” and told a small crowd, speaking at an unknown location, that “we will defeat them, God willing, and soon”.

The family had no prior knowledge of Raad’s plans for the Tel Aviv attack, Hamam Hazem told AFP earlier this month.

‘Escalate the resistance’

Violence by Israeli forces against Palestinians is common in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

Violence has intensified in the territory and in Israel, at a time the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish holiday of Passover overlapped this month.

A total of 26 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have been killed by Israeli occupation forces since March 22.

Massad’s death follows that of another Palestinian killed Tuesday, when Israeli forces stormed a West Bank refugee camp near Jericho.

Violent clashes have also rocked the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, sparking fears of another conflict after last year’s 11-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

Following the Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa, there was isolated rocket fire towards Israel from the Gaza Strip, resulting in Israeli reprisals on targets in the strip.

Palestinians have been angered by an uptick in Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa complex, Islam’s third-holiest site. It is also Judaism’s holiest place and known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

In an apparent attempt to ease tensions, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that Israel was committed to the “status quo” at Al-Aqsa, meaning an adherence to long-standing convention allowing Jews to visit the complex but not pray there.

Concerns of fresh violence at Al-Aqsa are building, though, ahead of Friday prayers at the complex, with the end of Ramadan approaching in early May.

The Palestinian armed movement Islamic Jihad in a statement Wednesday called on followers “to escalate the resistance in all its forms”.

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