95 Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank by Israel since beginning of 2023: health ministry
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of 2023 has reached 95, including 17 minors and two elderly, after the killing of 21-year-old Mohamad Hallaq and 43-year-old Mohammad Al-Juneidi Abu Bakr, during a military raid on Nablus on Monday.
According to the Palestinian health ministry's figures, the two men were the 24th and 25th Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Nablus alone since the beginning of the year.
Israeli forces raided the eastern part of Nablus on Monday morning, targeting the Makhfiyah neighbourhood, where they were confronted by Palestinian fighters from the local militant group "The Lions' Den" and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
#ApartheidIsrael shot and killed two #Palestinian youths today during a raid on #Nablus. This raises the number of martyrs to four during April, and we are only a few days in. #Israel #DismantleApartheid pic.twitter.com/BNJ2sDEDgB— Stop The Wall (@stopthewall) April 3, 2023
"Occupation forces fired large amounts of tear gas towards houses, three of which were evacuated by residents," Mohammad Raei, a human rights activist, resident of the Al-Makhfiyah neighbourhood and eyewitness, told The New Arab.
"Occupation forces headed to the houses of two other Palestinians, whom they arrested," said Raei. "Hallaq and Abu Bakr were among the fighters who confronted the raiding forces and were wounded at first."
"One of them was taken to the Rafidia hospital and the other to a specialised hospital in Nablus, where they were later pronounced dead," he added. "There were dozens of injured, asphyxiated and wounded, mostly civilians, when the occupation forces fired tear gas at the specialised hospital too."
Mohammad Abu Bakr was a father of three, the oldest of whom is a 13-year-old daughter. His older brother was killed by an Israeli missile during the Israeli invasion of Nablus in 2022.
Abu Bakr then worked in the Palestinian security forces before joining the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah faction, officially dissolved by the Palestinian president in 2005.
HEART-BREAKING: Palestinian girl bids the last farewell to her father, Mohammed Al-Jnidi, who was murdered by Israeli occupation forces during a military raid into Nablus city. pic.twitter.com/0c1q1zoXt9— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) April 3, 2023
Mohammad Abu Hallaq was the fifth of six siblings in a refugee family from the Ain al-Mai refugee camp in Nablus. He lost his left eye to an Israeli bullet during an Israeli raid on the city three years ago and was later arrested for ten months in Israeli jails.
Hallaq joined "The Lions' Den" shortly after its formation in late 2021, his cousin told TNA's sister Arabic publication Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
Palestinian factions and civil organisations in Nablus called for a general strike in the city for the rest of Monday as a sign of mourning for Hallaq and Abu Bakr.
Both men were buried following a funeral in which hundreds of Palestinians took part in the centre city of Nablus.