Israel forces kill Palestinian at checkpoint near Nablus as 2023 death toll reaches 36

Israel forces kill Palestinian at checkpoint near Nablus as 2023 death toll reaches 36
The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed by Israeli forces as 26-year-old Abdullah Qalalweh.
2 min read
03 February, 2023
The shooting of Abdullah Qalalweh brings to 36 the number of Palestinians killed this year by Israeli forces [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty]

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian on Friday at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, as 2023's death toll continues to mount.

Abdullah Sami Qalalweh, 26 was killed by "Israeli occupation bullets near the town of Huwara, south of Nablus", the ministry said in a statement.

An AFP photographer saw Qalalweh's body at the morgue of a Nablus hospital.

The Israeli military meanwhile claimed that soldiers had "shot live fire into the air" after a suspect "walked towards a military outpost adjacent" to an army base in the Huwara area.

It alleged Qalalweh "attempted to attack one of the soldiers" and that "another soldier who was at the spot fired toward the suspect and hit him".

The army confirmed to AFP that Qalalweh was unarmed.

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Israeli forces frequently attempt to justify their killings of Palestinians, often by claiming they were involved in fighting.

It comes after an Israeli military raid in Jenin last week that killed 10 Palestinians.

The next day, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people in the illegal settlement of Neve Yaakov in occupied East Jerusalem.

Friday's shooting brings to 36 the number of Palestinians killed this year, largely at the hands of Israeli forces.

Last year was the deadliest since 2004, with nearly 150 Palestinians killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Earlier on Friday, UN rights chief Volker Türk called on Israel "to ensure that all operations of its security forces in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, are carried out with full respect for international human rights law".

He stressed adherence to "the rules regulating the use of force in law enforcement operations," according to a statement from his office.

"Use of firearms is allowed only as a last resort, when there is an imminent threat to life or serious injury."

Friday's killing comes the day after Qatar and the US "stressed the need for calm and de-escalation" during the regional session of the fifth round of the Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, according to a Twitter statement from Doha's foreign ministry.

The meeting was held in the Qatari capital with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland in charge of the American delegation, the ministry said.

The Qataris were led by Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Doha's assistant foreign minister for regional affairs.