Gazans rally in support of West Bank's Hawara after Israeli settler rampage
Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip rallied in support of the occupied West Bank after a rampage by Israeli settlers over the weekend killed one Palestinian and wounded hundreds.
In separate remarks to The New Arab, residents in Gaza affirmed the Palestinians' right to defend themselves against Israeli occupation and praised attacks on settlers in what they described as legitimate Palestinian self-defence.
"We [Palestinians] have the full right to defend our holy places and punish Israel for all of its crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip," said residents of Gaza who spoke to TNA.
Many expressed support for attacks by Palestinians against settlers, such as the Sunday night killing of two Israeli settlers in the town of Huwara near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
"The Hawara operation revives hope once again that the West Bank will rise against injustice and Israeli crimes," said Mohammed Afana, a resident of Beit Lahia in the north of Gaza.
"We are sure that our brethren in the Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and all the Palestinian cities are capable of causing pain to the Zionists," he added.
"It is the time for Israelis to know that they will not live in safe or peace in our territories," Jalal al-Madhoun, another resident of Gaza, said to TNA.
Israel and its Western allies describe such attacks as acts of terror, but Palestinians and many of their Arab supporters see them as acts of resistance against illegal occupation and settler colonialism.
"A Palestinian was killed, hundreds of others were injured and numerous homes were set on fire by Israeli settlers Sunday evening in the latest escalation in the occupied West Bank."— Palestine Deep Dive (@PDeepdive) February 27, 2023
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The 36-year-old father of three further added, "Palestinian officials, mainly in the PA, have been trying to encourage our people in the West Bank to eliminate the resistance and maintain the Israeli occupation. But the new generation has decided to punish Israel."
Based on claims made by Israel, a young Palestinian man, who wore a T-shirt with symbols related to the shadowy militant group the Lions' Den, shot two Israeli settlers near the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus city.
Following the incident, hundreds of Israeli settlers launched a "revenge attack" on Palestinian properties and burned dozens of houses and vehicles.
Clashes erupted between the Palestinian residents and the illegal Israeli settlers, who fired bullets and tear gas at the locals.
At least 100 Palestinians were wounded by the attack, according to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Health Ministry.
The violent attacks by Israeli settlers fomented anger in Gaza, which led to "night protests" along the eastern fence separating the coastal enclave from the 1948-Israeli-occupied Palestinian cities.
During the protests young people burned rubber tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed in the area.
Israeli forces opened fire at the protestors, demanding they leave and or be shot with live ammunition.
The events coincided with a summit in Jordan's Aqaba, which hosted a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
The summit, attended by the US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk, as well as Jordanian and Egyptian officials, comes as Israeli forces continued their deadly raids on the occupied West Bank, which have killed more than 60 Palestinians since the start of 2023.
The Palestinian Authority said its delegation went into the meeting to demand "an end to the policy of assassinations, incursions, the Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem, settlement expansion, and unilateral Israeli measures" according to a statement.
However, Palestinians in Gaza condemned the meeting and described the PA's position as "shameful" for failing to defend unarmed communities in the West Bank.
"I cannot imagine the reason that prevents the PA armed forces from defending our people, primarily the elderly people, women and children," Salama Attallah, a resident from Jabalia refugee camp in the north of Gaza, said to TNA.
"The PA officials will not achieve anything for our brothers in the West Bank, and I am afraid that they would fight against the resistance too".