“The Lions’ Den,” as the fighters call themselves, claimed responsibility for the killing on Tuesday. “We announce carrying out a second shooting operation targeting occupation soldiers in the Deir Sharaf area, west of Nablus,” it said.
The Israeli military identified the trooper as 21-year-old Ido Baroukh, saying he was killed when “two assailants arrived in a vehicle adjacent to the community (settlement) of Shavei Shomron and shot live fire.”
The killing came three days after an 18-year-old Israeli soldier was shot dead at a checkpoint near the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat in central West Bank.
The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas hailed the Saturday operation as a “reaction to the Israeli occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people and its desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque.” The mosque’s compound that is located in the holy occupied city of al-Quds’ Old City is considered by Muslims to be their third-holiest site.
So far this year, more than 100 Palestinians have been shot dead by the Israeli military, in what the United Nations has described as “mounting violence” across the occupied territories.
The fatalities include four Palestinian teenagers, whom the Israeli forces have shot dead in less than a week. A fifth Palestinian, a 12-year-old boy, died on Monday from the wounds he had sustained last month during an Israeli military raid on the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
The Israeli military has also put Shuafat and the nearby town of Anata, which together house more than 100,000 Palestinians, under a complete lockdown, hunting for the person responsible for the Saturday killing.
The siege has compounded the suffering of Shuafat’s dwellers by preventing the sick from leaving and medical staffers from entering the camp.