The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported two fatalities in Dura near Hebron and one in the vicinity of Tulkarem, marking a tragic development in the ongoing conflict. The loss of lives underscores the severity of the situation and calls for urgent attention from the international community to facilitate peace talks and address the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Immediate efforts are needed to prevent further escalation and promote a peaceful resolution to ensure the safety and well-being of all affected communities.
Israeli forces have reportedly killed at least three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Among the casualties, two Palestinians were shot during clashes with the Israeli military in the town of Dura, situated near Hebron in the southern West Bank. The incidents highlight the ongoing tensions in the region and the need for international attention to address the underlying issues and promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mohammed Hasan Abu Sabaa, 22, succumbed to injuries inflicted by Israeli forces, as he was shot in the heart, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Additionally, Ahed Mahmoud Mohammed, 23, lost her life after being shot in the head, as reported by the director of Dura Governmental Hospital to Wafa. Ten other individuals sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to the hospital, as stated by the Health Ministry.
The Israeli military contends that its forces fired upon a group of approximately 100 Palestinians participating in a protest, during which soldiers faced projectiles such as bricks and firebombs. The military alleges that the individual shot had thrown a firebomb, although evidence for the claim was not provided. The incidents underscore the ongoing volatility in the region and the urgent need for efforts to address the underlying issues and promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a distinct incident, Fares Khalifa, 37, was fatally shot by Israeli forces near Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, as reported by the Health Ministry.
The West Bank has witnessed an escalation in violence and confrontations with Israeli forces, reaching levels not seen since the second Intifada from 2000 to 2005. The ongoing conflict in the besieged Gaza Strip, which began on October 7, has contributed to heightened tensions throughout the region.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israeli forces have been responsible for the deaths of 30 Palestinians, including seven children, in the West Bank during the initial 15 days of the year. This underscores the pressing need for international efforts to address the complex and longstanding issues in the region and work towards a sustainable and just resolution.
The grim statistic of 507 Palestinians killed last year represents the highest annual death toll recorded by OCHA since it began documenting casualties in 2005. This alarming figure underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive and sustainable resolution to the longstanding conflicts in the region. International efforts and diplomatic initiatives are crucial to address the root causes of the violence, protect civilian lives, and work towards a just and lasting peace for the people in the affected areas.
Separately, Israel arrested students at a university in the occupied West Bank during an early morning raid.
The students attend An-Najah National University in Nablus, which called for their immediate release, describing the army raid as “blatant Israeli aggression”.
The university and the Palestinian Prisoners Club, an advocacy group, said 25 students were arrested in the raid.
The Israeli army said security forces arrested “nine wanted persons associated with a Hamas student cell”.