Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in occupied West Bank

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in occupied West Bank

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in separate incidents.
Ayman Mahmoud Mheisen, 29, was killed on Thursday morning during a pre-dawn Israeli military raid on the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Mheisen was the third Palestinian to be shot dead in the occupied West Bank in less than 24 hours. He was a father of three and a former prisoner who spent three years in Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoner rights groups said.
Separately, Israeli forces killed 24-year-old Bilal Awad Qabaha during a raid on the village of Yabad, outside of Jenin city in the northern West Bank late on Wednesday, the ministry said.
Qabaha was in a critical condition when he was transferred to a hospital in Jenin, where he died.
The army had raided Yabad in the evening to destroy the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who carried out a shooting attack on March 29 in the town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, killing five people. Hamarsheh was killed in a shoot-out with Israeli police at the scene.
The army also arrested Hamarsheh’s 59-year-old father, Ahmad, after the demolition.
Israel destroys the homes of Palestinian assailants as part of a policy that has long been criticised by rights groups as collective punishment towards their families and towns.
Confrontations broke out with the Israeli army in Yabad shortly after the raid began, with several serious live ammunition injuries reported.
On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces shot dead Palestinian female journalist Ghufran Warasneh, 31, at the entrance to the Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army claimed she was in possession of a knife and had tried to stab soldiers, but witnesses told Al Jazeera that Warasneh, who was on the third day of a new job at a radio station, had posed little threat.
Israeli forces attacked Warasneh’s funeral procession at the camp on Wednesday, firing live bullets at mourners and tear gas directly into the crowd. At least one Palestinian was seriously wounded and being treated in hospital after being hit by a live bullet during the funeral.
Warasneh is the second Palestinian journalist to be killed by Israeli forces in less than a month.
On May 11, the Israeli army shot dead Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering a military raid in Jenin. Israeli forces also attacked her funeral procession in occupied East Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent it from advancing on foot.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces have killed 61 Palestinians since January 1.
Local and international rights groups have condemned what they call Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians, including suspected assailants, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Senior Israeli politicians – including Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – have encouraged the use of lethal force and given orders to shoot Palestinians who did not pose an imminent threat.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has noted in reports that Israeli forces “often use firearms against Palestinians on mere suspicion or as a precautionary measure, in violation of international standards”.
A string of Palestinian attacks since March have killed 19 people in Israel.
Israeli forces increased the intensity of their raids, including in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in raids conducted by Israeli forces and settlers at the compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and during Sunday’s Israeli far-right ‘Jerusalem Day’ parade in and around the Old City.

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