Israeli forces kill Palestinian rights lawyer in West Bank

1. Nablus
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian lawyer Mohamed Assaf during his funeral in the village of Kafr Laqif near Qalqilya in the northwest of the occupied West Bank on April 13, 2022. Assaf was killed by Israeli occupation forces in Nablus on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
NABLUS, Palestinian Territories — A Palestinian lawyer was killed by Israeli occupation forces Wednesday, the fifth day of Israeli raids in the West Bank.اضافة اعلان

The Palestinian health ministry said human rights lawyer Muhammad Hassan Muhammad Assaf, 34, “died after being shot in the chest by the Israeli occupation army during the aggression on the city of Nablus”.

Israeli forces were escorting Jewish settlers who were repairing Joseph’s Tomb and used “riot dispersal means and live ammunition” against Palestinian protesters.

The Israeli army did not confirm its forces had shot the lawyer, whose death brought to 16 the number of Palestinian fatalities in the ongoing violence.

Israelis has poured in additional forces into the West Bank and is reinforcing the Separation Wall in the occupied territory.

‘On the offensive’

Witnesses told AFP Assaf was standing by the roadside, having just taken his nephews to school, when he was hit by a bullet as Israeli forces fired while pulling out of Nablus.

Assaf was mourned as a “fierce defender of his people” by his employer, the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh charged that Israeli soldiers “murder for the sake of murder, with a license granted by the prime minister of the occupying state, Naftali Bennett, without the slightest regard for international law”.

Bennett has warned that Israel is now “on the offensive” and determined to arrest militant suspects.

The latest major attack Israel suffered was a shooting attack last Thursday in Tel Aviv that killed three people and wounded over a dozen more. The gunman died in a shootout with Israeli forces following an all-night manhunt.

In the city of Tulkarem, Israeli forces said they shot and wounded a Palestinian who fled special forces trying to arrest him.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 31 people wounded around the Nablus site and a nearby village, including 10 hit by live rounds.

The holy site, where Jews say the Biblical patriarch Joseph is buried, is a frequent flashpoint between Israelis and Palestinians. It was partially destroyed in 2000 during a Palestinian uprising and also torched in 2015.

Palestinian authorities consider the wider site an Islamic archaeological monument where a revered cleric was buried two centuries ago.

The violence has come during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and ahead of the start of Passover Friday, an overlap that can heighten tensions around sacred sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Last year, during the same period Israel launched an 11-day war on Gaza following violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Read more Region and World
Jordan News