Israeli troops kill a Palestinina in West Bank raid

AP,  Monday 24 Apr 2023

Israeli occupation army operating in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank shot and killed a Palestinian man on Monday, Palestinian officials said, the latest bloodshed in a yearlong wave of violence that has gripped the region.

File Photo: Israeli soldiers patrol a village near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. AFP

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as Suleiman Ayesh Awaid, 20, and said he was fatally shot by Israeli occupation forces in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in the central West Bank, which has repeatedly been the scene of Israeli troops raids in recent months.

The violence comes as Israel is set to mark its Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of militant attacks, beginning at sundown on Monday, while Palestinians will commmorate the Nakba Day, the following evening.

This year marks 75 years of Nakba, or catastrophe, when nearly 800,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes by then Zionist Israeli paramilitaries in 1948 and onward, leading which to the creation of the state of Israel in historical Palestine.

Starting Monday afternoon, Israel is set to close off the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to all Palestinians wishing to leave except for humanitarian cases, a closure that is expected to continue until late Wednesday. Israel regularly tightens its movement restrictions out of the West Bank and Gaza during holidays in what it says is a security precaution.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces have sealed off all main and secondary entrances to Jericho city for the third consecutive day, and are pursuing Palestinian vehicles while preventing residents from leaving the city.

Sources told the Palestinian news agency WAFA that Israeli forces have set up flying checkpoints at all entrances and are chasing after Palestinian-registered vehicles in the southern part of the city, preventing them from leaving.

Additionally, military vehicles have been deployed in the agricultural lands to the north of Jericho, where they are ambushing Palestinian commuters who are searching for alternative routes to reach their destinations.

Bloodshed has only intensified since the start of this year. So far this year, Israel has killed 95 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to a tally by The Associated Press. During that time, 19 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

Tensions have been particularly high over the last month, as Muslims marked the holy month of Ramadan. Earlier this month, an Israeli police raid on Muslim worshippers at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site touched off rocket salvos from militants in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Syria, which Israel responded to with air strikes.

On Sundaya, Israeli settlers, with Israeli police protection, stormed the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, taking provocative tours and performing Talmudic rituals near its gates. 

According to WAFA, the Israeli police assaulted a worshipper at the Bab al-Rahmeh prayer area of the mosque, cutting off its electricity for the second consecutive time, and prevented the al-Aqsa guards from entering the compound.

This article was originally published by The Associated Press (AP).