Tension in West Bank on the rise: two Palestinians killed and 29 injured
In two separate incidents within a period of 24 hours, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian civilians. The first, which took place on 10 March at an Israeli checkpoint at the King Hussein crossing (also known as Allenby Bridge) between the West Bank and Jordan, resulted in the death of a 38-year-old man of Palestinian origin who resides in Jordan. While the incident involved a physical clash between the man and an Israeli soldier, the precise circumstances of the incident remain unclear. The Israeli Prime Minister regretted the killing and said that Israel has agreed to establish a joint Israeli-Jordanian team to investigate the incident.
Later the same day, Israeli forces shot and killed a 20-year-old university student from Beitin village (Ramallah) with live ammunition in the head. In this case, the circumstances of the incident are also disputed: while the Israeli media reported that the man was part of a group of youth throwing stones at Israeli vehicles travelling on Road 60, next to the village, according to the village’s residents, there was no stone throwing in the area when the man was killed.
These incidents bring the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the begging of 2014 to five, the same as the equivalent period in 2013. The UN Deputy Special Coordinator, James Rawley, expressed deep concern about these incidents and urged the Israeli authorities to conduct thorough investigations and ensure accountability for any violations of international law.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces injured another 29 Palestinians, including eight children, during clashes across the West Bank. Twelve (12) of them, including two boys, shot with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets, were injured during three clashes with Israeli forces inside and at the entrance of Al Jalazun Refugee Camp (Ramallah), in response to stone throwing. The frequency and intensity of clashes in this location have intensified in recent months, following Israeli forces’ killing of a 15-year-old boy from the camp in December 2013 and a worker from the camp in January 2014.
In the late night hours of 10 March, Palestinians from the camp shot fire towards the adjacent Beit El settlement, damaging a window glass of an Israeli settler’s house. Following that, Israeli forces conducted a search operation in the camp, clashed with the residents, and injuring three people (included above).
Another 11 were injured during clashes that erupted in weekly demonstrations; in An Nabi Saleh village (Ramallah), against the expansion of Hallamish settlement on the villages’ land; in Bi’lin village (Ramallah) against the construction of the Barrier on the villages’ land; and in Kafr Qaddum village (Qalqiliya) against the long-standing Israeli closure of one of the villages’ main entrances.
Another two Palestinians, including a 60-year-old man, were injured in clashes that erupted during search-and-arrest operations by Israeli forces in the villages of ‘Illar (Tulkarm) and Ya’bad (Jenin), on 4 and 8 March respectively.