Israel to sever ‘all contact’ with Gaza and return laborers: government

RAMALLAH: Three Palestinians were killed on Thursday by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and an Israeli was killed in a Palestinian shooting attack, according to first responders.

Violence has surged across the West Bank for months and intensified further since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, triggered by the Palestinian group’s unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on Oct. 7.

On Thursday in El-Bireh, near the seat of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, two Palestinians, Ayham Al-Shafei, 14 and Yazan Shiha, 24, were killed and two others wounded when Israeli troops opened fire during a raid, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

A 19-year-old Palestinian, Qusai Qur’an, was killed by Israeli forces during a raid on Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, according to the ministry, reporting two others were wounded.

Elsewhere, an Israeli was killed after his car came under fire near the settlement of Einav, said Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency response organization.

Israeli officials have not identified the fatality.

The army said in a statement it “has set up roadblocks in the area and is hunting down the terrorists” behind the alleged shooting near the Palestinian city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank.

After the Israeli man’s death, dozens of settlers stormed the Palestinian village of Dayr Sharaf, located about 7 km from the Einav settlement, an AFP correspondent said. The correspondent saw Israelis setting Palestinian businesses and fields ablaze and smashing empty cars.

Also on Thursday, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported the death of 14-year-old Hamdan Hamdan of wounds sustained on Monday by Israeli fire in a village near Nablus.

For several months, the West Bank has seen increasing Israeli army raids, attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers and Palestinian assaults against Israeli settlers and security forces.

According to the Palestinian ministry, Israeli forces and settlers have killed around 130 Palestinians in the West Bank since Oct. 7.

In the same period around 1,900 have been arrested by Israeli security forces, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group.

Some media and rights organizations have said videos circulating on social media show Israeli soldiers filming the abuse and humiliation of detained Palestinians.

In a statement this week, Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said it “has documented severe abuse and torture against Palestinian civilians and detainees at the hands of the Israeli army.”

The NGO said Palestinians near Hebron in the south of the West Bank had been “dragged and assaulted by Israeli soldiers.”

“The Palestinian civilians in the footage have been stripped of their clothes, have their hands and feet tied, and appear to have been left outdoors for hours at a time,” the statement said.

The US warned on Wednesday that violence by settlers in the West Bank was “incredibly destabilizing.”

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