Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Hebron as tensions rise | News about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Naseem Abu Fouda, 26, is the 35th Palestinian killed by Israel so far in January 2023. The death toll includes eight children.

Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in the southern city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, the latest killing in a wave of escalating violence.

Identifying the deceased as 26-year-old Naseem Abu Fouda, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said he had been shot in the head on Monday morning.

Local journalists reported that Abu Fouda was hospitalized shortly after 2 am (00:00 GMT).

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency, Wafa, said Israeli forces “stationed at Military Checkpoint 160, south of the Ibrahimi Mosque in central Hebron, fired live bullets at the young man’s vehicle, wounding him with a bullet to the head, after which he was transferred to Al-Ahly Hospital in the city” and that he was later pronounced dead.

Abu Fouda is the 35th Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in January 2023. The death toll includes eight children.

The latest killing occurred during the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the region.

Blinken is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Tuesday.

While the United Nations said 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, with at least 170 people killed, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel this month puts 2023 on track to surpass that figure.

The Israeli army, in a joint operation with police and intelligence, launched a large-scale raid on a refugee camp in Jenin on Thursday morning, killing 10 Palestinians, including two children and a woman, in what Palestinians described as a “massacre”.

The next day, a 21-year-old Palestinian killed seven Israelis in an illegal settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

Tensions on the field continued to escalate over the weekend. Israeli forces have killed four Palestinians since the attack on the Jenin camp, and settlers have carried out dozens of attacks on Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, injuring people with live ammunition and burning cars and property.

On Saturday, Netanyahu said he would speed up the issuance of gun licenses to Israeli citizens, a move seen as “collective punishment” and a step that could further increase violence.

Israel’s new government, inaugurated last month, is the most right-wing in the country’s history and has sparked fears among Palestinians living under illegal Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and in Israel, as well as left-wing Israelis.

The new government includes National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, both of whom have been outspoken about their intention to expand illegal settlements in the West Bank and annex Palestinian land, and are known for inciting violence against Palestinians.

Both are immigrants living deep in the West Bank.

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