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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in new West Bank raid

By AFP - Apr 28,2022 - Last updated at Apr 28,2022

Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of Ahmad Massad, 18, in the village of Burqin, west of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, on April 27, 2022 (AFP photo)

JENIN, Palestinian Territories — Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank flashpoint city of Jenin on Wednesday.

The occupation forces claimed that during the operation at Jenin's refugee camp, troops used "live ammunition" after being targeted with gunfire and explosives by Palestinian "rioters".

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.

The army said 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 gunmen 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 forces have stepped up operations in recent weeks in the West Bank, particularly around Jenin, where there are active fighters from several Palestinian armed groups.

During the overnight operation, the forces said they 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.

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”.

Confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians are 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 died.

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

Violent confrontations have also rocked Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, sparking fears of another conflict after last year’s 11-day war between Israel and armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

Following Al Aqsa confrontations, isolated rocket fire towards Israel from the Gaza Strip resumed, prompting Israeli reprisals on targets linked to Hamas, the Islamist group which controls the coastal enclave.

Palestinians have been angered by an uptick in Jewish visits to Al Aqsa Compound, Islam’s third-holiest site. 

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 compound but not pray there.

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

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

 

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