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Two Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli forces in 24 hours

Jerusalem24 – Israeli forces shot and killed Palestinian fighter Sa’ed Al-Kuni and wounded three others last night during armed clashes in Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Al-Kuni was shot dead by undercover Israeli forces who entered the neighborhood of Al-Taawon in Nablus, according to WAFA Palestinian news agency. A further three Palestinians were injured in the Israeli raid and hospitalized.

The Palestinian armed group Areen Al-Osoud (Lion’s Den) announced the death of Al-Kuni in a statement this morning, an hour before the Palestinian Ministry of Health was officially informed by Israeli authorities, who seized and are withholding Al-Kuni’s body.

According to local sources, the Israeli army targeted both a motorcycle and a vehicle, leading to the death of Al-Kuni. Photos circulating on social media show a charred motorcycle at the scene.

A photo showing the motorcycle Al-Kuni was allegedly driving when he was shot. [Source: Social media]
Sources added that the Palestinian fighters in the second vehicle were injured by heavy fire but were able to withdraw.

According to Safa news agency, Israeli Army radio reported that Al-Kuni was ambushed by the Israeli military close to Jabal Jirzim in Nablus. According to the Israeli military, the fighters were on their way to carry out a shooting attack at the settlement of Har Brakha, which in recent days has already been targeted by Palestinian fire. No injuries have been reported.

“Instead of trying to help him, they killed him”

On Saturday, Israeli police shot and killed a 36-year-old teacher after he lost control of his vehicle near the village of Jit west of Nablus.

36-year-old Mohammad Ali Abu Kafia, a resident of Beit Ajza village northwest of occupied Jerusalem, was driving on a section of Route 60 close to the village of Jit when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an Israeli police vehicle, his cousin, Ramadan, told WAFA Palestinian news agency.

Ramadan added that shortly after the car crash, Israeli police officers who were present at the scene opened fire on him “instead of trying to help the man”, killing him instantly.

Abu Kafia was a father of three children and worked as a teacher at a school in the village of Bir Nabala, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned on Saturday evening the killing of Abu Kafia. “The Foreign Ministry considers this crime an integral part of the daily series of killings against Palestinians in accordance with the shooting instructions issued by the Israeli government, which grants its soldiers a license to kill unarmed Palestinians even if they are running away, if the soldier feels in danger.”

The Ministry also stated it holds the Israeli government fully and directly responsible for Abu Kafia’s death; called on the international community to provide protection to the Palestinian people; and called on the International Criminal Court to immediately begin investigations into Israeli violations against Palestinians.

“The absence of international accountability of the occupying power and its leaders for their crimes against the Palestinian people encourages it to go and commit more crimes.”

Israeli forces have now shot and killed a total of 92 Palestinians in the West Bank this year, including 24 children. This marks a sharp increase over last year’s toll of 92 Palestinians shot and killed in the West Bank for the whole of 2021, and an average of 41 during the whole Netanyahu era.

In December 2021, the Israeli military changed its rules of engagement in the occupied West Bank, explicitly allowing its soldiers to shoot-to-kill Palestinians even if they are fleeing and presenting no danger.

“New escalation zone”

Quds News Network quoted Nir Dvouri, the military correspondent for the Hebrew Channel 12, as saying that the situation in the occupied West Bank is heading towards further escalation, and that several months will be required in order to return to “a state of calm”.

Dvouri noted that the Israeli army has added two more battalions to the West Bank, one to the north of the West Bank where Jenin and Nablus are located, and the second to Hebron in the south. Dvouri said that sending a new battalion to Hebron “may indicate a new escalation zone in addition to Nablus and Jenin.”

According to Dvouri, there are currently 22 battalions of the Israeli army stationed in the occupied West Bank.

“The attacks are now targeting settlers and not only Israeli soldiers,” Dvouri said, warning the Shin Bet against Hamas’ increased participation in operations in the West Bank, including increasing orders to its members to carry out attacks in the West Bank as well as the participation of members of the Palestinian security services in the shooting attacks.

Over the past week, the West Bank has witnessed various operations from Palestinian fighters over the past week, during which one Israeli settler was killed in a stabbing attack and a total of 14 soldiers and settlers have been injured.

According to Quds News, confrontations erupted across 99 sites in the West Bank, 11 shooting attacks took place, and a total of 16 IEDs and Molotov cocktails were aimed at Israeli soldiers.

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