The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank killed a Palestinian man early Thursday.
The military, which has been conducting nightly operations in the territory since the beginning of last year, reported that soldiers operating in the Qalandiya refugee camp were being pelted with rocks and cement blocks from rooftops above, to which they reacted with live fire. The Palestinian Ministry of Health named the deceased as 41-year-old Samir Aslan.
His death happened the day after two Palestinians were killed in the West Bank. One was killed during an Israeli military arrest raid in the north of the territory, and the other was killed after stabbing and hurting an Israeli man in a southern settlement.
After 19 Palestinian attacks killed Israelis last spring, the raids began. Israel claims it will dismantle extremist networks and prevent future assaults. They reinforce Israel’s 55-year, indefinite occupation of Palestinian land.
The searches raised tensions and sparked a new round of Palestinian attacks that resulted in 10 Israeli deaths in the fall. 2022 was the worst year since 2004 when around 150 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The violence is happening at the same time that Israel’s new ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox government, which is the most right-wing it has ever been, is making plans for its legislative agenda. This agenda is expected to be tough on the Palestinians and increase settlement building in the West Bank.
During the Mideast War of 1967, Israel took over the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem. These are all places that the Palestinians want for their future independent state. Since then, Israel has moved about 500,000 people into about 130 settlements all over the West Bank. The Palestinians and most of the rest of the world see this as a barrier to peace.