Protests erupt in occupied territories and Negev desert following Israeli killing of Palestinians

Earlier this week, the Israeli security forces killed at least three Palestinians, including one teenager, in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and in the Negev desert 

March 17, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Israeli killing of Palestinians
(Photo: QNN)

On Wednesday, March 16, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in the Qalandia refugee camp near occupied East Jerusalem to oppose the killing of a Palestinian man by the occupying Israeli forces a day earlier. Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets against the protesters.

22-year-old Alaa Shaham was killed by Israeli forces on Tuesday, March 15 and at least six others were injured. The Israeli forces fired at people gathered to protest them storming the camp.

Israeli forces also killed at least two other Palestinian youths in similar incidents in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus and in the Naqab (Negev) desert. In the Balata refugee camp, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Nader Rayan when a group of Palestinians were resisting the arrest of another Palestinian.  

In Rahat in the Naqab, an undercover Israeli unit stormed the house of 27-year-old Sanad Salem al-Harbed and shot him dead. Herbed was a father to three children.   

Israel regularly carries out raids in Palestinian localities to make arbitrary arrests. According to one report, Israel has arrested around 448 Palestinians in February alone. These raids are seen as harassment and opposed by the local people. In response, Israeli forces often use heavy force in such protests, sometimes killing people as well.  

Hundreds participated in the funeral processions on Tuesday and expressed their anger towards the Israeli occupation. Protests also broke out a day later following the funeral procession in Qalandia. Israeli forces tried to disperse the protesters by firing tear gas and rubber quoted bullets. The protesters retaliated with stone pelting and by burning tires. 

Meanwhile, a general strike was observed in the city of Rahat following the killing of Herbed. The strike was called by the Rahat municipality and supported by the Higher Steering Committee of the Negev Arabs. The strike demanded a fair investigation into Herbed’s killing and punishment for the security forces involved.    

The killing of Palestinian youths was also condemned by several Palestinian groups. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued a statement condemning the killing and calling for “comprehensive resistance” against the Zionist enemy. Hamas also issued a statement claiming that “blood of the martyrs will continue to fuel our people’s revolution against the Zionist occupier,” Al Jazeera reported.