Days after Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas called for negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, Israeli forces killed at least five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem on Sunday, September 26. Two people were killed in Jenin in the West Bank and three others in the Beit Anan village in Jerusalem when Israeli forces stormed Palestinian villages early in the morning.
The three men killed in Jerusalem were identified as Ahmad Zahran, Mahmoud Hmaidan and Zakariya Badwan. The two killed in Jenin were Osama Soboh and Yousif Soboh. According to the local media, at least eight other Palestinians were injured in indiscriminate firing carried out by the Israeli forces in Jenin.
The Israeli forces claimed that two of their soldiers were also injured.
According to Israeli media, all the Palestinians killed were members of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. However, Islamic Jihad claimed in a statement that Osama Soboh was its member. According to Al-Jazeera, Zakariya Badwan, one of the three killed in Jerusalem, was an employee of the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit near Ramallah.
Among the 5 #Palestinians killed today in Jenin and Jerusalem is 22 yr-old Osama Soboh (L). His was wedding was next months. Yesterday, his fiance Dunia (R) celebrated his birthday with a post: "You are my beloved and my heart shall always be your home." #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/KV6QzTAAiO
— Nour Odeh 🇵🇸 #NojusticeNopeace (@nour_odeh) September 26, 2021
Residents in the Beit Anan village and the nearby Biddu village, from where the three murdered Palestinians hailed, observed a day-long general strike to mourn the killings. According to media reports, the Israeli army later prevented the residents of the villages from entering or leaving.
PA president Abbas has condemned the killings. The Israeli army often carries out violent raids inside Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in the name of arresting members of militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. When Palestinians resist, Israeli forces open fire which often leads to heavy casualties among Palestinians. Only last month, Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in Jenin’s refugee camp.
One year to leave
Meanwhile, speaking at the session of the UN General Assembly, president Abbas said on Friday that the PA will stop recognizing Israel if it fails to withdraw from the occupied territories in one year.
He noted that the present and previous Israeli governments have evaded the two-state solution in order to prolong their illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and carry on with the systemic theft of land through settlements and walls, creating an apartheid system in the historic Palestine in the process.
He also asked UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to “convene an international peace conference” immediately so that a final settlement to the Israel-Palestine conflict can be achieved as per the UN resolutions.
The PA was created following the signing of the Oslo peace accords in 1994-95 between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) to govern the Palestinian majority areas in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza as a first step towards a “two-state solution”. In return, the PLO had recognized Israel’s right to exist. Direct talks to achieve a two-state solution have not been held since 2014.