The Occupied West Bank has seen a surge in violence, with Israeli forces shooting dead five people… Read two reports below:
By Shatha Hammad, reposted from Middle East Eye
In several parts of the occupied West Bank, there is a palpable sense of frustration and anger following a heavy-handed crackdown by Israeli forces on ordinary Palestinians and protesters.
The tension comes as Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Monday at the al-Arroub refugee camp, north of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
According to local sources, the Israeli army prevented ambulances from reaching the man, identified as 18-year-old Obaida Akram Jawabra.
Jawabra was transferred to a medical facility in the town of Beit Fajjar, some 10km away, in a privately owned car, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Bilal Jawabra, the victim’s uncle, told Middle East Eye that his family was not given additional details on how or why he was killed.
Ehab al-Titi, an eyewitness to the incident, told MEE that the al-Arroub camp has seen a rise in confrontations since Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza on 10 May, following the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque and efforts to forcibly displace Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
“Earlier today, the entrances to the camp were fairly quiet, so we were shocked to hear live ammunition being fired at Obaida, and seeing him fall immediately to the ground,” he said.
Surge in violence
Over the past week, the West Bank has seen a surge in violence from Israeli forces who have used rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas to clamp down on protesters.
Widespread demonstrations erupted after Israeli forces stormed the highly revered al-Aqsa Mosque multiple times and many families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah face eviction.
Protests have erupted in various cities in the occupied territories, as well as in mixed Palestinian-Jewish cities.
Rights groups have repeatedly criticized Israeli forces for using excessive force against Palestinian protesters, including their “unjustified use of lethal force and execution” against individuals who have allegedly launched attacks against Israeli forces.
As a result of Israeli police aggression on demonstrators over the past week and the bombardment of Gaza, Palestinians across the political divide have said a nationwide general strike will commence on Tuesday.
The strike, which will see the disruption of all economic and commercial establishments in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian communities inside Israel, comes as more than 200 people, including 61 children, have been killed in intense Israeli attacks on the besieged enclave of two million people.
The Palestinians have long used general strikes as a tool to express their rejection of Israeli practices.
The planned strike is reminiscent of a famous six-month strike that took place in 1936, which involved the whole country and was aimed at pressuring Britain to end policies that paved the way for the creation of Israel.
Shatha is a Palestinian freelance journalist. In June 2020 she won the New Voice award at the One World Media Awards for her reporting from the West Bank.
The Israeli military claimed that Zehda had arrived at the military checkpoint carrying a Carlo weapon and a knife, and he was shot and neutralized.
Israeli Ynet News claimed that the man tried to fire the weapon but was unsuccessful and added that he reportedly also carried explosives before one of them detonated in his hand “but he kept advancing towards the soldiers” before he was shot dead.
Local residents told reporters with the Ma’an News Agency that they heard the sound of an explosion, followed by gunfire, and saw a young man lying on the ground.
Palestinian medics rushed to the scene and tried to reach the young men, but the soldiers closed the area and did not allow them through.
The soldiers also fired live rounds at reporters and residents in the area to force them away.
In a video published on Youtube, an Israeli settler in Hebron is heard shouting in Hebrew while a battalion of soldiers were taking the body of Zahda, covered in plastic, saying “He is garbage – a dog who tried to kill Jews. Just dump him like garbage.”
The Israeli military frequently claims that Palestinians whom they have killed at or near checkpoints “had a weapon” even when later evidence disproves that claim.
Zahda is the fifth Palestinian killed in Hebron in five days. On Monday, Israeli forces killed 17-year-old Obeida Akram Jawabra. On Saturday, troops killed Hussein Atiya at-Teety, 26, on Friday, the soldiers killed Hussein Atiya at-Teety, 26, from the al-Fawwar refugee camp, and on Thursday Ismael Jamal at-Tubasi, 23, was shot with a live round to the head in ar-Reehiyya village, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
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