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Palestinian death toll skyrockets as Israeli army shoot and kill 14-year-old in Bethlehem

 Jerusalem24 – Noelle Mafarjeh and Nadeen Alshaer – The Israeli military shot and killed 10 Palestinians in five days, and a total of 14 (including four children) since the new year – more than in the first two months of 2022 combined, which was the deadliest year for West Bank and Jerusalem Palestinians since the Second Intifada.

The following is a list of the Palestinian casualties of 2023. Jerusalem24 is still working to determine the circumstances behind a number of the killings.

Monday 16 January

Amer Khaled Lotfi Khmour, 14, Al-Dheisheh refugee camp (Bethlehem)

14-year-old Amer was shot and killed by the Israeli army during a military raid on Al-Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Amer was shot in the head with an explosive bullet – the type of ammunition used by Israeli snipers – and by another live bullet in the shoulder. He was critically injured and connected to a ventilator around 6:00 AM, until the Ministry of Health announced his death in the afternoon.

According to local sources, youth and children from the camp confronted the soldiers with stones during the raid, and the soldiers fired live ammunition. There were no armed confrontations taking place when Amer was shot.

Amer is the fourth Palestinian child to be shot and killed by the Israeli army since the beginning of the year. Jerusalem24 is still working to ascertain further details behind Amer’s killing.

Sunday 15 January

Ahmad Hassan Kahleh, 45, Rammoun (Ramallah)

Father-of-four Ahmad Kahleh was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in front of his son, with whom he was travelling, after engaging in a physical scuffle with the soldiers. Kahleh and other Palestinians were stuck in traffic caused by a military checkpoint, and when drivers started honking the soldiers fired a stun grenade at a vehicle. Kahleh rolled down his window and began to shout at the soldiers, who sprayed him and his son with pepper gas before dragging them out of the car. Kahleh attempted to resist the soldiers and was shot point blank in the neck.

Israeli media quoting the military immediately reported that Kahleh had attempted to stab a soldier. However, mobile phone footage released later in the morning shows he was not holding a knife, and the Israeli military subsequently amended (twice) their version of events.

Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here.

Saturday 14 January

Izz Eddin Bassem Hamamreh, 24, and Amjad Adnan Khalilieh, 20, Jabaa (Jenin)

20-year-old Amjad Khalilieh and 24-year-old Izz-Eldin Hamamrah were shot and killed by the Israeli military near the town of Jabaa south of Jenin.

Reuters reported that three men were armed and exchanged fire with the Israeli military, and that one of the men was subsequently wounded. The gunmen drove away with him, unloaded him with local residents, and got back into their vehicle. The gunmen were later pursued by the Israeli military who shot and killed the men, according to the eyewitness Reuters talked to.

Local sources told Jerusalem24 that the men were ambushed by Israeli soldiers who rammed their jeep into their vehicle, which crashed into a wall surrounding a house under construction. The soldiers exited their military jeep and showered the car with bullets, likely killing the two men on the spot.

The Israeli army stated that its forces opened fire on the car after being shot at, confiscated a weapon, and that there were no Israeli casualties. Mobile footage shared on social media shows bloodstains inside the targeted vehicle and next to the vehicle.

Yazan Samer Azat Al-Jaabari, 19, Kafr Dan (Jenin)

19-year-old Yazan Jaabari succumbed on Saturday to injuries sustained during an Israeli invasion of Kafr Dan near Jenin on 2 January, during which another two Palestinians including a 17-year-old child were shot and killed. Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here.

The mother of 21-year-old Mohammad Hoshieh, who was killed in Kafr Dan and was also the first Palestinian shot and killed by the Israeli military in 2023, paid her condolences to the family and mother of Al-Jaabari. “Today, my wound reopened, just like if it was Mohammad,” Hoshieh’s mother told Palestine TV. “I wish his mother patience, she won’t forget anything – his clothes, stuff, the plate he used to eat in, his spoon! Who will bring back our kids? No one will!”

Thursday 12 January

Samir Awni Harbi Aslan, 41, Qalandiya refugee camp (Jerusalem)

The Israeli military shot and killed 41-year-old Samir Aslan after the military raided the building his extended family lives in to arrest his son Ramzi. According to eyewitness statements from multiple family members sharing the building, after the army detained Ramzi and began beating him outside the house, he called for his father – who then ran to the roof of the building to see where his son was being taken.

Aslan was then shot through the back with an explosive bullet – the type of ammunition shot by Israeli snipers – and found by his family a few minutes later. The family then attempted to evacuate Aslan to a hospital by car, but the army – still present on the street – blocked their passage, stripped Aslan’s body naked on the ground (visible in mobile phone footage from the scene), and denied him medical treatment for around an hour.

Jerusalem24 is still working to clarify further details concerning Aslan’s killing and denial of medical treatment.

Abdel-Hadi Fakhri Nazal, 18, and Habib Mohammad Kmail, 25, Qabatiya (Jenin)

25-year-old Habib Kmail was shot in the head with live ammunition during an Israeli military raid in the village of Qabatiya south of Jenin. The army laid siege to the home of Muhammad Ali Kmail before arresting him, triggering confrontations with residents in the area.

18-year-old Abdel-Hadi Nazal was shot in the neck during the same raid. Mobile phone footage and photographs from the scene show Nazal wasn’t wearing shoes when he was shot, and was possibly in front of his home.

Jerusalem24 is still working to determine the circumstances behind the killings of Nazal and Kmail.

Wednesday 11 January

Ahmad Amer Salim Abu Junaid, 21, Balata refugee camp (Nablus)

21-year-old Abu Junaid was shot and killed by the Israeli army during a military raid on Balata refugee camp on Wednesday 11 January. Video footage from the raid shows Israeli soldiers clashing with armed Palestinian fighters, one of whom was shot and injured and is said to be Abu Junaid.

Abu Junaid was the second fatality in Balata refugee camp in less than a week, after 17-year-old Amer Abu Zaytoun was shot and killed by the Israeli military in a nighttime raid on the camp on Thursday 5 January. Abu Junaid knew Amer and shared on his Facebook page a photo in mourning of him the day he was killed.

Abu Junaid was studying media at Al-Quds Open University. Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here and here.

Sanad Mohammad Othman Samamreh, 18, Al-Dhahriyeh (Hebron)

18-year-old Sanad Samamreh was shot and killed by an Israeli settler during an alleged stabbing attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Eshtemoa near Hebron, according to Israeli media. Israeli emergency services said a 29-year-old Israeli settler had been moderately wounded with injuries to his upper body. An armed settler at the scene shot and killed Samamreh, whose body is being withheld by Israeli authorities.

Samamreh’s family have expressed doubt at this version of events, and say he was out grazing their sheep on their family lands. Jerusalem24 is still trying to determine the circumstances behind Sanad’s killing.

Thursday 5 January

Amer Ghazi Mahmoud Abu Zaytoun, 17, Balata refugee camp (Nablus)

17-year-old Amer Abu Zaytoun was shot in the head in a nighttime raid on the camp. He was uninvolved in armed confrontations between the Israeli military and armed Palestinian fighters of Balata refugee camp, according to Jerusalem24’s reporting, and was alone when he peered around a corner and was shot by a sniper. Amer used to act as a lookout for Israeli military incursions into the camp. Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here.

Tuesday 3 January

Adam Issam Ayyad, 15, Al-Dheisheh refugee camp (Bethlehem)

15-year-old Adam Ayyad was shot with live ammunition in the chest during a military raid on Al-Dheisheh camp. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and live ammunition during confrontations that broke out with local youth when the army began raiding and searching the camp. According to the Israeli army’s own statement, there were no armed confrontations taking place in Al-Dehaisha when Adam was shot. Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here.

Monday 2 January

Mohammad Samer Hoshieh, 21, and Fouad Mahmoud Ahmad Abed, 17, Kafr Dan (Jenin)

17-year-old Fouad Abed and 21-year-old Mohammad Hoshieh were shot and killed by the Israeli military when the army invaded the village of Kafr Dan 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.

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 reinforcements.

Mohammad and Fouad were both shot dead shortly afterwards. Read Jerusalem24’s coverage here.

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