Palestinian teenager 'directly' killed in Nablus by Israeli army, according to witnesses
Israeli forces "directly fired" on a Palestinian teenager and wounded or injured dozens in a military raid on Nablus in the northern West Bank, late on Wednesday.
The victim was identified as 19-year-old Waseem Khalifa, who died of a live bullet in the chest during the Israeli night raid on the city. Palestinian Red Crescent Society announced that other 36 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces, including three with live fire in the chest, the thigh and the waist.
"Israeli forces raided Nablus' eastern part late at night, with armoured vehicles and snipers taking positions on rooftops," Mohammad Raei, a human rights activist based in Nablus, told The New Arab.
"The Israeli troops were making way for a group of Israeli settlers who headed towards the Yousef's Tomb [Joseph's Tomb] shrine, in the middle of eastern Nablus," said Raei.
Israeli forces just declared that it had assassinated 20-year-old Wasim Abu Khalifa, son of PA officer Nasser Abu Khalifa, from Balata refugee camp in Nablus.— Mariam Barghouti مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) August 17, 2022
This is less than two weeks after Israeli ops assassinated 3 Palestinians one of whom was 16-years-old. pic.twitter.com/MkbMxDOBA5
"At first, local youth confronted Israeli forces with stones, but deeper into the city Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live fire in all directions," he noted. "The three seriously wounded Palestinians are all under the age of 20."
Israeli settlers had halted incursions into the "Josphef's Tomb" since June, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli settlers and escorting forces, wounding an Israeli officer and two settlers.
In previous incursions into the religious site, several Palestinians were killed or wounded by escorting Israeli forces.
"Waseem Khalifa was holding a flashlight in front of a house near Balata refugee camp, about 200 meters away from the raiding Israeli soldiers," Raei pointed out.
"Soldiers opened fire directly at him and hit him in the chest, then remained near him for about 15 minutes and then left," said Raei. "Palestinian ambulances rushed to the place and took him to the Rafidia hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later."
Breaking|| Israeli occupation forces storm the old city of Nablus, injuring 4 Palestinians with live bullets among them 3 critical injuries. pic.twitter.com/rGg87JI8vO— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) August 17, 2022
"Waseem had a strong, courageous character," Hassan Khalifa, his cousin, told The New Arab. "He had dropped out of school to work on a sidewalk selling stall, and help his parents and his little brother."
"He had been arrested once by Israeli forces and had also been injured in the same place he was killed," said Khalifa's cousin. "He is a big loss to his family."
Israeli media quoted an Israeli forces' statement saying that their soldiers "were securing a coordinated pilgrimage and returned fire at Palestinian gunmen".
Mother of the Palestinian youth Waseem Khalifa grieves over her son who was killed by the lsraeli occupation forces in Nablus last night. pic.twitter.com/s9CvHmupuS— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) August 18, 2022
Israel has ramped up its raids into Nablus in recent weeks, often exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen in the city.
Nine days ago, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian gunmen in Nablus' old city after hours of a firefight during a night raid.
In late July, Israeli forces killed another three Palestinian militants after an armed confrontation, in what residents described as the most violent raid on Nablus since the second Intifada.
Critical injuries arrive into the hospitals of Nablus amidst an ongoing lsraeli raid in the city. pic.twitter.com/XDDtNXESO6— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) August 17, 2022
Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli forces have killed around 140 Palestinians, including 18 in Nablus alone.
On Wednesday, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour addressed three letters to the UN Secretary-General, the president of the UN Security Council and the president of the UN General Assembly, about Israel's raids on Nablus and other Palestinian areas.
"The lack of accountability for Israel's crimes encourages it to continue to act with impunity," read Mansour's letters.
He called for "immediate action to hold Israel, the occupying power, accountable for all its violations."