Jerusalem24 – Two Palestinians including a teenager were shot and killed by the Israeli military when the army invaded last night the village of Kafr Dan near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, in a protracted military operation that lasted over 12 hours.
21-year-old Mohammad Samer Hoshieh, born 23 December 2001 in the nearby village of Yamoun, and 17-year-old Fouad Mahmoud Abed, who was born in June 2005 in Kafr Dan, were shot during confrontations that erupted with local residents as well as armed Palestinian fighters during the invasion.
The goal of the military invasion was to carry out the punitive demolition of the three family homes belonging to relatives of Abdulrahman Abed and Ahmad Abed, who shot and killed an Israeli soldier at the Jalameh checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank on 14 September before being shot and killed themselves.
The army arrested Maher Hani Abed, the brother of Abdelrahman Abed, after raiding his house during the invasion.
Another Palestinian child, 17-year-old Oday Salah, was shot and killed by the Israeli military in Kafr Dan in September when they raided the village to take the measurements of the Abed family homes in preparation for their punitive demolition.
Mohammad was shot several times in the chest shortly before 2AM, and local media reported his death around 2:15AM. Fouad was shot in the abdomen and thigh, and local media reported his death less than half an hour after Mohammad. Their deaths were confirmed by the director of Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, Samer Attia.
It is unclear whether either Mohammad or Fouad were involved in armed or non-armed confrontations with the Israeli military, and Jerusalem24 is still working to ascertain the circumstances behind their deaths.
A further three Palestinians were injured by live ammunition during the invasion. One of them remains in critical condition after being shot in the chest.
The Israeli army released a statement this morning saying they had “responded to stone-throwing, Molotov cocktails, tyre burning, and shooting” and that “hits had been identified”.
Confrontations were ongoing in Kafr Dan and nearby villages until the army retreated after 11:30AM, a full 13 hours after the invasion began.
As the invasion began in Kafr Dan before 11PM, the army detained dozens of residents on the roads to the village Kafr Dan and the nearby village of Sila Al-Harithia and Yamoun, and prevented them from returning to their homes.
It is unclear whether they were allowed to pass through before the army retreated this morning.
As the Israeli military began the lengthy process of setting up explosive charges in the first of the three homes slated to be blown up, confrontations with local youth, who threw stones at the army, as well as armed Palestinian fighters escalated and the army sent for new reinforcements after 2AM.
Mohammad and Fouad were both shot dead shortly afterwards.
The army then evacuated a large number of residents of neighboring houses before proceeding to blow up the three family homes in succession, shortly after dawn.
Footage shared by local media shows nearby homes being engulfed in a cloud of smoke and debris as the explosives are detonated.
In addition to the immediate and lingering health hazard presented by the smoke and debris, the Palestinian Civil Defense must carry out a field survey before allowing any nearby residents to safely return to their homes, a spokesperson for the Palestinian police told Jerusalem24. The survey includes searching for suspicious objects left behind by the Israeli army, an initial damage assessment of the targeted building and the surrounding houses, and dispatching engineers to examine neighboring buildings if there is suspected damage to the integrity of those buildings.
Israel systematically issues orders for the punitive demolition of the homes of the families of Palestinians suspected of carrying out or killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis, both civilians and soldiers. The practice amounts to collective punishment and is contrary to international humanitarian law.
Between 1967 and 2014, at least 1,523 punitive home demolitions were carried out by Israeli forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – though the real number may be as high as 6,130.
A total of 13 family members of Abdelrahman and Ahmad Abed have been left homeless by the demolitions.
“No fear of accountability”
Mohammad and Fouad are the first Palestinians to be shot and killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank in 2023.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the killings “reflect the thinking and behavior of the perpetrators”, who “do not fear being held accountable or punished”.
The funeral procession for both Mohammad and Fouad departed from Jenin Governmental Hospital, where their remains had been transferred, around 10AM and lasted until mid-afternoon.
Mohammad’s mother could be seen carrying her son’s body while exiting the hospital compound prior to the funeral procession, an unusual sight in Palestine where the role traditionally falls to men, but which has been an increasingly observed since the mother of 18-year-old Ibrahim Nabulsi carried her son during his funeral after his assassination in Nablus last August.
2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada, with 170 fatalities in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, including 39 children, the youngest of them 6 years old, according to documentation collected by Jerusalem24.
153 Palestinians were shot and killed by the Israeli military or police, including 37 children. Another nine Palestinians died due to Israeli military intervention or medical negligence, and another three Palestinians from the West Bank were killed inside Israel. A further five Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers, either run over, stabbed, or shot, including a 15-year-old child.
The city of Jenin in the northern West Bank, where Kafr Dan is located, has borne the brunt of Palestinian casualties, with 57 of 2022’s 170 fatalities hailing from the city. Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was also killed in Jenin while she reported on an Israeli raid on the city’s refugee camp in May.