Israeli forces Saturday morning shot dead a Palestinian in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank after an alleged stabbing attack, the second Palestinian to be killed in the neighborhood in less than 24 hours, and the fifth to be killed by Israeli forces in less than 48 hours.Local sources identified the slain Palestinian as 25-year-old Hatim Abd al-Hafeeth ShaludiAn Israeli army statement said that the Shaludi had stabbed a soldier before he was shot dead by Israeli forces. Israeli media reported that the soldier was lightly injured.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the series of attacks were “another example of the danger of Palestinian incitement through social media,” adding that the Israeli army is “conducting intensive intelligence and operational efforts to stop the violence.”However, the spokesperson could not explain to Ma’an how these attacks were connected to “incitement through social media.”
On Friday evening, 15-year-old Muhammad Thalji Kayid Thalji al-Rajabi was also shot and killed in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron’s Old City after reportedly stabbing and lightly injuring an Israeli soldier.
Less than two hours earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed 18-year-old Moussa Muhammad Khaddourand critically wounded his fiancee Raghad Abdullah Abdullah Khaddour, also 18, at the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba just outside of Hebron’s Old City, after the two allegedly carried out a car ramming attack that left three Israeli civilians injured.
Raghad Khaddour was the sister of Majd Khaddour who was killed by Israeli forces at the same junction in June after attempting a car ramming attack.
Some 45 minutes prior, a Jordanian citizen was shot and killed by Israeli forces after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack outside Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Ahmad Abed al-Fattah al-Sarrahin, 30, was killed on Thursday after succumbing to gunshot wounds sustained earlier in the day when Israeli forces raided the village of Beit Ula in the district of Hebron and opened live fire on al-Sarrahin as soldiers reportedly struggled to detain him.
According to Ma’an documentation, at least 226 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis and some 32 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since a wave of unrest first swept across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October.The Hebron area in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with Israeli authorities severely restricting the movement of Palestinians by declaring the area of Tel Rumeida and other parts of the Old City as a “closed military zone” for several months in November amid dozens of incidents in which more than 40 Palestinians were killed.
The recent incidents marked the highest concentration of Palestinian deaths in recent months sinceJune when three Palestinians were killed in less than 48 hours after allegedly carrying out attacks which killed two Israelis — one in Hebron’s Old city, another in Kiryat Arba, and one in Israel — while a fourth died during clashes.
Israel has come under repeated criticism for failing to carry out due process in response to alleged and actual attacks, particularly in regard to the apparent extrajudicial executions of Palestinians who no longer posed a threat when they were killed.
Meanwhile, in recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, routinely alleging that the unrest sparked in October was encouraged largely by “incitement,” claiming social media has been used by Palestinians to encourage hatred against Israel and inspiring Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis. Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons behind the violence.