Conflicts & War

The violence gripping the West Bank

By Sara Gomez Armas

Jerusalem, Oct 9 (EFE).- Four Palestinian teens and an 18-year-old Israeli soldier have been killed in separate incidents over the weekend as tensions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been running high for months.

Some 114 Palestinians, including unarmed civilians such as Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, have been killed by Israeli forces or during raids and clashes in the West Bank this year, marking this year the deadliest since 2015.

“The mounting violence in the occupied West Bank is fueling a climate of fear, hatred and anger,” Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in a statement on Saturday.

“It is crucial to reduce tensions immediately to open the space for crucial initiatives aimed at establishing a viable political horizon,” he added.

Wennesland’s remarks came after a weekend marked by heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

On Friday, a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old were killed in clashes in the town of Qalqilya and Ramallah, respectively.

Another 16-year-old and 18-year-old Palestinians died in the city of Jenin on Saturday.

The latter two are suspected to be members of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad.

However, many of the armed Palestinians responding to the almost daily raids by Israeli forces are not linked to militias or political factions, but rather act on their own via social networks.

Their anger is not only directed at the Israeli occupation but also at the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the lack of finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

Palestinian attacks against Israeli troops or settlers have also intensified in recent weeks.

An 18-year-old Israeli soldier was killed and another seriously wounded in a shooting attack on a checkpoint at the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas Islamist movement hailed the attack as a “heroic operation,” while Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid condemned the “grave” attack and confirmed that security forces are on high alert ahead of Sukkot Jewish holiday celebration.

Seven months ago, the Israeli military started conducting almost daily raids in the northern part of the West Bank, mainly in Nablus and Jenin, as part of operation “Break the Wave” launched in response to five attacks perpetrated by Palestinians on Israeli territory, in which 18 people were killed.

Some 2,000 Palestinian were arrested since the beginning of the Israeli operation. EFE


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