RAMALLAH: The Israeli army killed four Palestinians in Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, on Thursday — three of them in a military operation inside the old city, and the fourth one, a young woman, at the Huwara checkpoint, south of the city.
The deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year to 108, including 20 children and one woman.
Three victims were identified as Muath Al-Masri, Ibrahim Jabr and Hassan Qatanani. They were killed during a raid on their house.
Two bodies were found badly disfigured because of the intensity of the Israeli fire, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
A comprehensive strike was observed to protest against the Israeli attack, with thousands participating in the victims’ funeral on Thursday afternoon.
The Israeli army accused two of the three young men of being responsible for killing three Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley weeks ago.
The fourth victim, a woman identified as Iman Odeh, 26, was killed by a bullet to the chest fired by Israeli soldiers in Hawara. The army claimed she tried to carry out a stabbing attack.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said the Israeli military prevented ambulance crews from saving her life.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, during a meeting with an EU delegation, called on the bloc to pressure Israel to stop killing Palestinians.
Shawan Jabarin, head of the Al-Haq human rights organization in Ramallah, told Arab News that the three men could have been arrested if the Israeli agents had wanted to do so.
The Israeli army’s action, he said, amounted to an “extrajudicial execution” and a “war crime.”
“When the Israeli army targets specific people for killing whose identities are known, this is extrajudicial execution, which is considered a war crime,” Jabarin said.
The Israeli policy in this regard, he added, is evident, as the forces that raided the house had the intent to kill and not make arrests.
Jabarin said his organization was preparing a detailed report on the extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, which would soon be submitted to the International Criminal Court.
He said the matter was painful because there was still no local, regional or international body investigating Israeli abuses and extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, “which allows the murderous soldiers and their leaders to escape unpunished.”
Taysir Nasrallah, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Nablus, told Arab News that the Israeli army could have arrested the three young men and tried them if they were accused.
“The undercover agents entered the old city with the aim of a premeditated killing. If the Palestinians had discovered them, the agents could have committed a massacre against civilians,” he said.
Nasrallah condemned the deployment of snipers on the roofs of neighboring buildings, who did not care whether unrelated civilians could be killed, as well as the use of drones that fired shells at the targeted house, destroying it.
“The Israeli army’s special forces came to kill and commit a massacre, and they did not care if they killed 10 civilians who had nothing to do with the matter. Their military operations terrorize Palestinians and provoke them into seeking revenge,” Nasrallah told Arab News.
The operation began at 7:20 a.m. when workers and students usually commute in large numbers, leaving them exposed to the dangers of being caught in a crossfire.
Schools decided to delay classes until the Israeli forces left the city, fearing for students’ lives.
Nasrallah called on the Palestinian Authority not to participate in the security meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, which is expected to be held before the end of this month.
“As long as the Israeli army is not committed to stopping the killing of Palestinians, using violence against them, storming Palestinian cities, and completely ignoring the presence of the Palestinian Authority and its security services, what is the point of these meetings?” Nasrallah said.