Israeli forces 'use dirt mounds' to seal off West Bank city Hebron after shooting

Israeli forces 'use dirt mounds' to seal off West Bank city Hebron after shooting
3 min read
West Bank
30 October, 2022
Israeli forces used dirt mounds to close off Hebron after an Israeli was killed in a shooting attack Saturday night, while persisting with their weeks-long siege of the city of Nablus.
Israeli forces closed off all entrances to Hebron, restricting movement in and out of the city [Getty]

Israeli forces sealed off the city of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank on Sunday following a shooting attack that killed one Israeli.

Israeli forces "closed off all entrances to the city with dirt mounds", a human rights activist in Hebron who asked not to be named told The New Arab, after the attack by an assailant identified as 35-year-old schoolteacher Mohammad Jaabari.

Israeli forces killed Jabaari during his attack, then reportedly withheld his body from family. Palestinians in Hebron observed a general strike on Sunday as a sign of mourning for the shooter.

Israeli forces later raided Jabaari's home, arrested one of his brothers, and took measurements of the house for its later demolition, the Hebron activist told The New Arab.

Israel systematically demolishes the homes of Palestinians who carry out attacks against Israelis. The policy is described by human rights groups as 'collective punishment', considered a war crime under international law.

Jaabari had reportedly opened fire at the house of the far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir.

Israeli media reports identified the Israeli killed as Ronen Hananiah, a resident of the Kiryat Arba settlement who was in his sixties.

He was killed while leaving a convenience store with his son, who was wounded in the attack. 

Ofer Ohana, a right-wing extremist settler known for his aggression against Palestinians, was among those seriously wounded. Ohana is a resident of Kiryat Arba, a Hebron settlement home to a notorious group of predominately right-wing, religious Israelis.

"Ofer Ohanna, the settler who was seriously wounded, is one of the most aggressive settlers in Kiryat Arba who regularly harasses Palestinians in the old city, and has threatened me personally of death more than once," the activist said.

Groups of settlers subsequently opened fire at Palestinian houses in Hebron's old city in retaliation to the shooting.

Later on Sunday, confrontations broke out between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces in Hebron’s Bab Al-Zawiyah neighbourhood and at the entrance of the old city, where Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinians who threw stones and blocked the streets with burning tyres. No casualties were reported.

More confrontations were reported in the refugee camps of Al-Fawar and Al-Arroub, near Hebron. A second shooting at Israeli forces was reported at the nearby village of Beni Naeim.

The rising violence in Hebron comes amidst an ongoing larger escalation of Israeli raids and confrontations with Palestinians in the West Bank.

In the north of the occupied territory, Israeli forces have maintained their siege on the city of Nablus for the third week.