Over the past 30 days Israeli forces killed 73 Palestinians, and Palestinians killed 11 Israelis in more than 30 attacks amid increased violence dubbed the “knife Intifada” or “third Intifada” by Palestinian media.
The southern West Bank city of Hebron was the sight of more killings of Palestinians in October than any other city with 25 dead, a majority of which took place in the last two weeks. In Jerusalem Israeli forces killed 19, and 17 in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian leadership said in a report published today a number of those killed by Israeli forces were “extrajudicial killings.” Of those cases the youngest Palestinian killed was Ahmad Sharakeh, 14, from Jalazon refugee camp who “was walking with friends in a mountainous region near the camp, when an Israeli soldier, hiding in a tree, fatally fired a bullet into the back of his head. Ahmad presented no imminent threat or danger to anyone,” according to the report.
In another instance, Palestinians have charged an Israeli settler shot and killed Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, in Hebron, after which Israeli border police planted a weapon on al-Qawasmi in attempts to fabricate an alleged stabbing. The dispute over the circumstances of Israeli forces killing Palestinians has led to much speculation, which was reinforced by videos of the incidents circulating over social media.
The Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlements insists that al-Qawasmi was targeted by the Israeli settler without provocation and released a video of the moments after. In the footage a border police officer standing by an armed settler and al-Qawasmi’s body is seen passing an object to another officer, although the image is not clear enough to determine what it is.
October also saw a spike in the number of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces in demonstrations that took place across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
“According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 2,250 Palestinians have been injured,including children,” the PLO said in a statement today. “Many were injured as a result of being shot with live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets, in addition to assaults and burns. Besides, more than 5,000 have suffered from tear gas inhalation.”
Referring to itself for the first time in publication as an “occupied state,” the PLO report also noted increased arrested throughout Jerusalem and the West Bank, “Israeli forces have carried out at least 762 raids in the Occupied State of Palestine since September 13. Additionally, more than 1238 Palestinians have been arrested.”
The month of October also saw the highest number of settler attacks on Palestinians in years. In total there were 287 incidents which included settlers running over Palestinians in hit and runs, torching agricultural fields, stoning Palestinian houses and, attacking the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
Palestinian leaders charged the increased use for force will “undermine all efforts to realize two independents states based on the 1967 borders.”
Yet Israeli officials have stated the violence stems form Palestinian incitement. On multiple occasions October Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fingered Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for falsely claiming Israeli police had killed 13-year old Ahmad Manasra.
“That new big lie is that Israel is executing Palestinians. Yesterday, President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of putting to death, executing an innocent Palestinian boy,” said Netanyahu at a press conference.
“First of all, he’s not dead – he’s alive. Second, he’s not innocent – he tried to kill, murder, knife to death an innocent Israeli youngster, 13-years-old, riding a bicycle. This Palestinian terrorist is now being treated in Hadassah hospital in Israel,” Netanyahu added.
On October 12th, Manasra stabbed an Israeli teen and then Israeli police shot him in the East Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev. With his family initially unaware that he was hospitalized in an Israeli medical facility, news incorrectly circulated that the youth was killed at the scene. Days later, Israeli police presented photographs of the minor in a hospital bed. Later Manasra’s father charged that Israeli authorities used the images without his permission—it is illegal under Israeli law to publish the face of persons under 18 accused of a crime without parental consent.