Israeli military forces have shot and killed a Palestinian man in the northern part of the West Bank over an alleged stabbing attempt against the regime’s soldiers, amid heightening tensions in the occupied territories in recent months.
The Israeli military alleged in a statement that the attempted stabbing occurred near the illegal settlement of Kedumim on Wednesday as the Palestinian, armed with a knife, approached an army post on Route 55 and tried to stab soldiers, before being shot.
The military said no soldiers were hurt in the incident.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the 20-year-old victim as Aref Abdel Nasser Lahlouh, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp.
The latest death brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire so far in 2023 to 19, including four children.
Israeli forces launch raids on various cities of the occupied West Bank almost on a daily basis under the pretext of detaining what it calls “wanted” Palestinians. The raids usually lead to violent confrontations with residents.
Over the past months, Israel has ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities throughout the occupied territories. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.
The United Nations marked 2022 as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in 16 years.
Israeli forces killed at least 171 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied East al-Quds last year, including more than 30 children. At least 9,000 others were injured as well.
Israeli forces demolish six Palestinian-owned homes
Earlier in the day, Israeli forces demolished six Palestinian-owned homes in the village of al-Diyouk al-Tahta, west of the city of Ariha, under the pretext that they had been constructed in Area C of the West Bank without a permit.
WAFA reported the troops sealed off the area before proceeding with the large-scale demolition.
Locals say the Israeli army wants to clear off the area from its Palestinian residents in order to press ahead with its settlement expansion activities there.
Israel routinely destroys Palestinian homes and structures under the pretext that they lack construction permits which are next to impossible to obtain.
Demolishing Palestinian structures as collective punishment is another extreme measure that Israel has employed against the Palestinians.
Punitive house demolitions have become a regular practice since 1967 after Israel extended its occupation to the West Bank and East al-Quds.
By definition, this is intended to harm people who have done nothing illegal and are not suspected of any wrongdoing; they just happen to be related to someone who has, in most cases allegedly, attacked or attempted to attack Israelis.
Despite international outcry over the illegal practice, Israelis keep on pressing ahead with the harsh policies to date.
Palestinians say the regime’s demolition drive is aimed at making room for illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.