New year, old story: Israel kills Palestinians in the West Bank
Palestinian health officials said that Israeli forces killed two Palestinians during a confrontation that erupted at dawn Monday when Israeli forces entered a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank.
The two men were killed in the village of Kafr Dan, near the northern city of Jenin. The Israeli military said it entered Kafr Dan late Sunday to demolish the homes of two Palestinian gunmen who killed an Israeli soldier during a shootout in September.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health named the dead as Samer Hoshieh, 21, and Fouad Abed, 25. Hoshieh was shot several times in the chest, according to Samer Attia, director of Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin. Attia initially said that Abd was 17, but the ministry later stated that he was 25.
An armed group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, later announced that Hoshiyeh was a member of it. The group, which is a spin-off of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, published an old photo showing Hoshieh with rifles. Video footage on social media showed his body draped in the armed group’s flag as his mother and other mourners bid farewell.
It was not immediately clear if the second dead man also belonged to an armed group.
Israel says it demolished the activists’ homes as a way to deter potential attackers. Critics say this tactic amounts to collective punishment.
2022 was the deadliest year in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2006. The Israeli military has been carrying out near-daily raids on Palestinian cities and towns since a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis killed 19 last spring.
Last Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that Israeli forces killed more than 220 Palestinians last year.
A new wave of attacks killed at least nine more Israelis in the fall. The Israeli military says most of the Palestinian dead were militants. However, stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others who did not participate in the confrontations were killed.
Israel claims the raids aim to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. Palestinians see it as a further consolidation of Israel’s 55-year occupation of the West Bank.
Israel captured the West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East War and the Palestinians seek those lands for their future state.