Palestinian man, Israeli child die as bloodshed rises in occupied West Bank

Twenty-seven-year-old Methqal Rayan has been shot dead by an Israeli settler in the the Palestinian city of Salfit, following a car-ramming attack in occupied East Jerusalem that killed three Israelis, including two children.

An Israeli settler has shot and killed a Palestinian man in the northern occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said, while an 8-year-old Israeli child died of injuries suffered a day before in a car-ramming attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

Saturday’s incident was the latest escalation in months of surging violence in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem.

In the northern occupied West Bank, near the Palestinian city of Salfit, a farming village of olive groves, video footage showed Israeli settlers racing down the hills and tearing into the town.

As Palestinians poured into the streets to see what was going on, an Israeli settler opened fire, killing a 27-year-old villager, said Ghassan Douglas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlements in the Nablus region.

The settlers dispersed when the Israeli military arrived, he said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the villager who was killed as Methqal Rayan and said he was shot in the head. Video shared by the village council shows the settlers firing at least 10 gunshots toward the residents.

Israeli police opened an investigation into the shooting of the Palestinian man, the military said.

Douglas said that the northern occupied West Bank has seen an intense wave of settler violence in recent days.

As night fell on Saturday, warning sirens sounded in southern Israel when Palestinian militants fired a rocket from Gaza that was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, the Israeli military said.

There was no immediate statement from the Hamas movement, which rules Gaza.

Car ramming attack 

In Jerusalem, Asher Menahem Paley, 8, died a day after a Palestinain man rammed a car into a bus stop in the Jewish settlement of Ramot.

Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem announced his death on Saturday. His 6-year-old brother was killed in the car-ramming, along with a man in his 20s.

Seven Israelis were also injured, with four severely.

The perpetrator was Palestinian Hussein Karaka, 33, a father of three, living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya and holding Israeli citizenship, according to Israeli media.

Israeli forces said the driver had been “neutralised on the spot” and described the incident as a terror attack.

After the attack, Israel’s new hard-line government vowed a harsh response.

Almost immediately, Israeli police arrested and interrogated the relatives of the suspected assailant.

Systemic oppression and a cycle of violence

Karaka’s family said he was born in Jerusalem but has family in Bethlehem. His uncle, 63-year-old Adnan Karaka in Bethlehem, told The Associated Press that his nephew had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.

Karaka said Hussein’s mental problems started in 2008, when he was arrested for the first of several minor offenses. He alleged that Israeli interrogators badly beat Hussein in detention, from which he emerged “irrevocably changed.”

A few years later, Hussein fell from a crane at a construction site, his uncle said, sustaining a severe injury that worsened his mental condition.

Hussein bounced between psychiatric wards for years, Karaka added, and was released from a hospital just two days before plowing into the crowded bus stop on Friday.

The occupied West Bank has been on edge since Israel stepped up military raids in the territory last spring to quell the rise of Palestinian resistance movements.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the occupied West Bank and occupied east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in the Palestinian territories since 2004, according to leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Last year, 30 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

So far, 45 Palestinians have been killed this year according to a count by The Associated Press. Palestinians have killed 10 people on the Israeli side during that time.

Source: TRT World


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