Israel kills Palestinian child as settlers steal land

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Source: The Electronic Intifada

Israeli forces fatally shot a woman and a child in two separate incidents in the occupied West Bank over the weekend.

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli soldiers in Beita village, near Nablus, on 11 June.

Israeli forces shot Muhammad Said Hamayel with a live bullet in the chest, according to an investigation by Defense for Children International Palestine.

The boy was transferred to a field hospital in the village where he was pronounced dead.

Hamayel is the eighth child killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank this year, according to DCIP.

Fast-growing Jewish-only colony

Israeli forces killed Hamayel during protests in his village against a new Israeli outpost named Evyatar built on the lands of several Palestinian villages.

Such outposts are typically built by settlers without permission from Israeli authorities, in order to create facts on the ground.

However, according to Haaretz this settlement is being built with the backing of the Samaria Regional Council, an official Israeli government body – highlighting how in reality the settlers and occupation authorities work hand in glove.

While technically illegal under even Israeli law, the state often recognizes the settlements retroactively and issues building tenders.

All of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Syria’s Golan Heights are illegal under international law and their construction is a war crime.

Settlers established Evyatar in May. It is purportedly named after Evyatar Borovsky, an Israeli settler who was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian in 2013.

It is at the site of a former Israeli military base, about a mile from Tapuach junction, known to Palestinians as Zaatara checkpoint.

Israel designates certain West Bank areas as “firing zones” and “military zones” as a pretext to forcibly displace indigenous Palestinian communities or prevent them from accessing their land.

Israeli soldiers helped settlers build structures in the outpost, Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported. The Israeli army said the soldiers did not act with the approval of commanders, according to the newspaper.

Evyatar, which sits on top of a hill, “prevents the creation of a connection between the villages of Qabalan, Yatma and Beita” – all Palestinian villages in the Nablus area – the outpost’s Facebook page states, calling it “a strategic point that strengthens the Jewish presence in the region.”

The Facebook page says 46 families live there currently, and there is a school, daycare center, synagogue and paved roads.

Daniella Weiss, a settler activist, said that building Evyatar is “not just establishing a settlement, it’s an answer to the attacks from Gaza, from the north.”

Some 250 Palestinians were killed in the besieged Gaza Strip and nearly 2,000 were injured during Israel’s 11-day bombing campaign in Gaza that ended on 21 May. More than 60 of those killed by Israel were children.

A fundraiser established for the illegal settlement raised approximately $400,000 in donations.

Before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left office, his chief of staff sent a letter to defense minister Benny Gantz warning him against demolishing Evyatar.

Netanyahu’s office claimed that such an order has required the approval of the prime minister in the past.

Gantz disputed the claim, reportedly saying “the mere act of establishing the outpost is an illegal act of exceptional scope and type.”

Meanwhile, a Palestinian woman was fatally shot by an Israeli civlian security guard on 12 June at the Qalandiya checkpoint separating Ramallah from occupied East Jerusalem.

The Israeli Police said 28-year-old Ibtisam Kaabneh had a knife on her when she was killed.

Israeli Police reportedly said she pulled the knife and ran towards them, not stopping when she was ordered to do so.

A video filmed by a bystander shows Israeli forces briefly examining Kaabneh and then covering her body.

The video does not show any attempt to provide first aid.

Kaabneh was imprisoned by Israel for a year and a half between 2016 and 2018.

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