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Over 100 Palestinians killed by Israel in West Bank so far

Over 100 Palestinians killed by Israel in occupied West Bank since 7 October
5 min read
West Bank
25 October, 2023
As Israeli bombing of Gaza continues, Israeli forces ramp up crackdown on Palestinians in the West Bank. According to experts, as an attempt to prevent an explosion of Palestinian activism, linked to Gaza events.
Israeli forces killed 98 Palestinians and arrested around 1,000 in the occupied West Bank since 7 October. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has seen an unprecedented spike in years.

On Wednesday, 25 October, officials announced that Israeli forces or settlers killed at least 103 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 7 October, including two Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons who were reportedly tortured to death. 

Earlier Monday, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the Jalazon refugee camp north of Ramallah

Palestinian residents in Jalazon described Israeli forces' raid on Monday as "unprecedentedly violent", with 20 Palestinians arrested, including a disabled man, and dozens were wounded.

"The occupation forces used live fire and shot directly at people, not randomly and not in the air", a 25-year-old resident of Jalazon who asked not to be named, told The New Arab.

"Soldiers opened fire heavily in a way I have never seen before, and I have witnessed many raids by the occupation on the camp", the resident said.

"They raided many houses and beat people inside their houses, and all those who were arrested were beaten", they said. "There were also many wounded and a lot of property damage, especially cars, some of which were a source of livelihood for transportation workers".

"There has been a sombre atmosphere in the camp since Monday; some elderly who sit in front of shops have tears in their eyes, and houses and shops have been playing prayers since the morning", they added. "It is a heavy trauma that the community is living through, and a lot of anguish as people worry that raids will be as violent in the future".

On Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a mosque in the Jenin refuge camp in the northern West Bank, killing two Palestinians. The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its air force bombed a tunnel underneath the mosque, in which Palestinian militants allegedly hid.

At the same time, Israeli settlers have ramped up their attacks on Palestinian villagers in the occupied West Bank, especially farmers during the olive harvest.

On Monday, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian farmer family in the town of Taybeh, east of Ramallah, physically aggressing three of the family members and causing a jaw injury to one of them. Settlers also stole the day's harvest.

"We were at the harvest, east of the town, when some five settlers arrived, two of them armed, and began to beat us", Musa Khoury, a member of the aggressed family, told TNA.

"Settlers threatened us and beat me, my nephew and my sister while the rest of the family ran away", said Khoury. They took the chart where we had three large bags of olives which we had harvested since the morning, then left", he added.

The town of Taybeh has received hundreds of Palestinians displaced by armed settlers from two Bedouin communities near the town in the past two weeks.

Also last week, a 37-year-old Palestinian woman from the neighbouring town of Deir Jarir was killed by Israeli settlers, while her 17-year-old son was wounded with three bullets.

The ramp-up of Israeli raids and settler violence has accompanied a spike in Israeli arrests of Palestinians in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, some 1,000 Palestinians have been arrested since 7 October, while electricity and water have been dramatically reduced for Palestinian detainees to as little as one hour per day in some Israeli jails.

Meanwhile, Palestinian militant actions against Israeli forces and settlers have spiked in the past two weeks. According to Palestinian media sources, some 1,114 militant actions have been reported against Israeli targets since 7 October, compared to 1050 actions during September.

According to media reports, these actions mainly included shooting attacks, stone and Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli troops during raids, or Israeli vehicles travelling on inter-settlement Israeli roads.

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The only Israeli casualties reported have been eight Israeli soldiers wounded in confrontations with Palestinian fighters in the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm on Friday and one Israeli soldier injured in confrontations with unarmed Palestinians during an Israeli raid on the village of Burqa, near Nablus early on Tuesday.

According to Palestinian historian and researcher in the history of Palestinian resistance, Bilal Shalash, "The occupation is trying to prevent an explosion of the situation in the West Bank as it prepares for a ground invasion in Gaza".

"Most of the Palestinians being arrested since 7 October are people who have some kind of organisational experience, even in civil activism, which indicates that the occupation is trying to undermine the possibility of the current wave of anger developing into an organised movement", said Shalash.

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Shalash also remarked that "there is a clear popular discontent towards the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and this kind of discontent has historically translated into support for resistance groups against the occupation, which jeopardises stability in the West Bank".

"These groups have rapidly grown fighting experience, especially in Jenin and Nablus", he noted. "The worst case scenario for the occupation is these groups beginning to merge into an organised movement, but such a development depends on how the war unfolds in Gaza", he added.

Since 7 October, Israeli forces have killed more than 5,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including more than 1,500 children, and displaced 1.4 million in its ongoing bombing of the Gaza Strip.