Occupied West Bank: 178 Palestinians killed, 2,280 arrested

By Nadine Osman

London, (The Muslim News): A 51-year-old man from the town of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, and a 30-year-old from Dura town, south of Hebron, were killed by Israeli army fire in the West Bank on Thursday, bringing the total Palestinian death toll in the occupied region to 178 since October 7.

The Israeli army has arrested over 2,280 people in the West Bank, the heart of a potential Palestinian state since October 7, according to Palestinian authorities.

Eyewitnesses say Israeli forces staged military raids into the Jenin and al-Amari refugee camps on Thursday amid clashes with Palestinian gunmen.

On Wednesday, a large army force stormed the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, besieged the home of a former Palestinian prisoner, and injured 19 citizens with live rounds, including three in serious condition.

According to media reports, undercover Israeli agents (Musta’ribeen) infiltrated the city, followed by many occupation soldiers who stormed the Hindaza, Al-Saf Street, and halal market areas, surrounded former prisoner Hamdi Imad Al-Kamel’s home, and deployed sharpshooters on citizens’ rooftops.

Soldiers detained the young man’s family members and demanded that he surrender himself, while local youths protested the military incursion, which lasted seven hours. Soldiers also abducted one young man, Muhammad Kamel, 25.


Since October 7, illegal Israeli Jewish settlers and access restrictions imposed by Israeli soldiers have driven approximately 900 Palestinians, or more than 110 households in 15 separate Bedouin or herding communities, from their homes and communities in the West Bank.

According to the UN monitoring group OCHA, Israel has accelerated its plan to evict Palestinian communities from Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank that remains under full Israeli military control and includes Israel’s largest illegal settlements, by using armed, Israeli Jewish settlers who live in illegal settlements  in the West Bank.

Israeli settlers threaten Palestinians at gunpoint, vandalise their property, hamper their access to water, ruin their trees, damage their vehicles, steal their belongings, and intimidate and physically attack them, all in the presence of Israeli forces.


Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians “amounts to a war crime,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

Volker Turk made the remarks following his visit to Rafah crossing ins southern Gaza, as part of a five-day visit to the Middle East amid intensifying attacks by Israeli forces against the Gaza Strip that began on Oct. 7, after an attack by Hamas.

“The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians,” Turk, an Austrian lawyer, said in a media briefing.

“The massive bombardments by Israel have killed, maimed, and injured, in particular women and children.”

Turk demanded respect for international human rights laws and noted that “parties to the conflict have the obligation to take constant care to spare the civilian population and civilian objects.”

“Attacks against medical facilities, medical personnel, and the wounded and sick are prohibited,” he said.

Turk noted the “urgent humanitarian imperative to reach the increasingly isolated population” in Gaza.

The commissioner also deplored the complete communication blackouts, which he said “have serious consequences” for rescue and medical care, as urged the parties to now agree on a cease-fire.

On Tuesday, Turk stopped at the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, where a trickle of aid trucks has been allowed in recently, but they are just a fraction of the aid that used to be admitted and far too little to maintain Gaza’s 2.2 million population.

In addition to incessant Israeli bombardment on Gaza since October 7, with attacks targeting hospitals, residences, ambulances and places of worship, Israel has shut off fuel, electricity, and water supplies and initially prohibited all relief deliveries.

Weeks ago, Israel also told Gazans in the northern Gaza Strip they had to move to the south, despite warnings that doing so would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

Despite the thousands that fled, bombardment of southern Gaza has continued to this day, with observers claiming that no region in Gaza is safe from Israeli attacks.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas a month ago.

At least 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women, have been killed since Oct. 7. The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is nearly 1,600, and 250 have been taken hostages by Hamas according to official figures.

[Photo: Funeral ceremony of Mumin Said Belavi (20), Izzeddin Raid Avvad (25), Jihad Shehadeh (22) and Kasim Muhammad Recep (20) killed by Israeli forces in Tulkarm, West Bank on November 06, 2023.Issam Rimawi /AA]

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