Palestinian death toll at 45 in West Bank since Saturday

By Qais Omar Darwesh Omar

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army and Israeli settlers in the West Bank since the start of an escalation between Israel and the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. 650 Palestinians have been injured in the attacks by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers.

It said nine Palestinians were killed Friday in Tulkarm, Nablus, Tubas (north) and Hebron (south).

At least two villages, Al-Qanub and Wadi Al-Sik, have been entirely depopulated as a result of the violence by Israeli settlers.

The Red Crescent Society indicated that crews dealt with 130 injuries in the West Bank, including 19 from live bullets and the remainder from metal bullets and suffocation.

Clashes erupted Friday during marches in solidarity against the ongoing Israeli bombing against the Gaza Strip.

“The Israeli army used live bullets, rubber bullets, and tear gas bombs to disperse the marches, while young men threw stones, empty, and incendiary canisters at the Israeli forces, and returned the tear gas bombs,” according to witnesses.

Some told Anadolu that “violent confrontations broke out at the northern entrance to the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, at the Beit Eyl military checkpoint, following a march that started in front of the Al-Bireh and Al-Kabira Mosque.”

Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian man and his son in the occupied West Bank during a funeral procession, the Palestinian Ministry of Health says.

Ibrahim Al-Wadi and his son Ahmed Al-Wadi were shot on Thursday when settlers opened fire at a funeral for four Palestinians killed on Wednesday by settlers and Israeli soldiers in the village of Qusra near Nablus.

Similar confrontations broke out in dozens of cities and towns in the West Bank, according to an Anadolu correspondent.

The West Bank is witnessing a wave of tension and confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army, as the humanitarian situation deteriorates in the Gaza Strip, amidst a harsh Israeli military campaign.

The conflict began Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood — a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

[Photo: Palestine Relatives of Muennis Zeyadat killed by Israeli soldiers mourn during his funeral in Bani Na’im district of Hebron West Bank on 12 10 23. Photojournalist Mamoun Wazwaz /AA]

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