One Palestinian killed per day by Israeli violence in July and into first week of August

One Palestinian killed per day by Israeli violence in July and into first week of August
5 min read
West Bank
08 August, 2023
While July has been the "deadliest month" for Palestinians in 2023, the first week of August began with an average of one Palestinian killed per day by Israeli forces or settlers.
Israeli forces killed more than 200 Palestinians since the beginning of 2023. [Getty]

As confirmed by the Palestinian health ministry, five Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the last 24 hours since Sunday afternoon in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday morning, 17-year-old Ramzi Hamed, from the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah, was pronounced dead after a week of struggling with live-bullet wounds caused by Israeli settlers near his hometown.

In early August, Israeli settlers shot and wounded Hamed while driving a car with two of his friends on a road outside Silwad. Medical sources told Palestinian media that Hamed was injured in the stomach.

"Ramzi was a normal teenager who didn't get in trouble", Shatha Hammad, journalist and resident of Silwad, told The New Arab.

"He was driving a car with two friends on the main road outside the town, probably going to the neighbouring town, and they passed in front of a side agricultural road that leads to the nearby Israeli settler outpost of Amona, which was evacuated by the Israeli army some years ago", said Hammad.

"Settlers from the Ofra settlement, just down the hill, were stationed on the side road, and opened on Ramzi's car, and wounded him before leaving", she added.

"This is the latest of a series of settler attacks in the neighbouring area since last month", pointed out Hammad. "A few weeks ago, settlers attacked residents of the neighbouring town of Deir Jarir, unprecedentedly opening fire at them while in their lands, and days later, settlers shot Ramzi", she added.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians near Jenin after intercepting the car they were driving south of the West Bank.

The victims were identified as Nayef Sweis, 26 years old, Baraa Abu Qarm, 15 years old, and Luai Naaseh, 21 years old. The three were stopped by Israeli forces while driving near the town of Arrabah, south of Jenin. Video footage circulated by Palestinian media showed Israeli soldiers opening fire at the car while it was stopped on the road from a close distance.

The Israeli army claimed that the three men formed a Palestinian armed cell that was on its way to attack Israeli targets. The statement added that the target of the ambush was Nayef Sweis, whom the Israeli army claimed to be the cell leader. The Israeli military also published a picture of a rifle it claimed to have found in the men's car.

Sweis's father told Palestinian media that his son had become wanted by the Israeli army only six days ago, denying that he would attack Israeli targets when killed.

"The family is in shock, rarely answering calls, as they hadn't expected the killing of Nayef at all", Shatha Hanaysheh, a local journalist and resident of Jenin, told TNA. "Also are the families of the other two victims", she noted.

The parents of Baraa said that he was on his way to visit his sister and that he met Nayef and Luai on his way and decided to spend some time with them, denying that he was involved in any armed activity.

In a statement, the Al-Quds battalions, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad - PIJ, claimed Nayef Sweis as one of its members and a leading member of the Jenin Brigade. Neither the PIJ nor the Jenin Brigade confirmed or denied the Israeli army claims.

The killing of Sweis, Al-Qarm and Naaseh came hours after Israeli forces killed 27-year-old Kamel Abu Baker after he had killed an Israeli security officer in Tel Aviv late on Saturday.

According to Palestinian reports, Abu Baker was from the village of Rummanah, near Jenin, and the Israeli army had wanted him for more than a year for belonging to the Jenin Brigade, living in clandestinity, avoiding public appearances and using a false name.

On Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians marched in Jenin to protest the killings of the three Palestinians near Arrabah. On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killings near Arrabah, calling them "a public summary execution that reveals the desire for murder that has taken over the leaders of [Israeli] military institutions".

"[Israeli] soldiers are motivated by orders, often bragged about, by [Israeli] ministers, grandchildren of the gangs who committed massacres against our people in 1948", added Shtayyeh.

Earlier last week, Israeli settlers killed a 19-year-old Palestinian in the village of Burqa, east of Ramallah, which raised the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and forces to six in August alone.

In July, 33 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, making it the deadliest month of the year so far for Palestinians. Since the beginning of the year, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers.