Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that the Saturday night operation close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, where an Israeli settler was killed and four other people were wounded, “proves that the resistance front can surprise the occupiers and deal them stinging blows.”
“Resistance bullets are a practical response to the Zionists’ settlement expansion policies, the crimes that they are committing, and their repeated desecrations of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Ibrahimi Mosque,” he underscored.
Moreover, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also stated that the shooting operation signifies that the spirit of resistance is on the rise among Palestinian from all walks of life, and shows that the dawn of a popular revolution and liberation of occupied Palestinian lands has come.
“Our fighters are able to make the enemy pay for its terrorist crimes anywhere and at any time,” it stated.
Following the aforementioned shooting operation at a checkpoint near Kiryat Arba settlement, which lies in close proximity to the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, a young Palestinian man was rammed by an Israeli security official and shot dead by an off-duty soldier in connection with the incident.
He was named by Palestinian media outlets as Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari, a Hamas resistance fighter, whose brother Wael had been serving life in Israeli prison before being freed and sent to the Gaza Strip in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal in 2011.
Images circulated on social media showed that after the attack, sweets were handed to drivers in al-Khalil in celebration, fireworks were fired, and there were chants heard in support of the Palestinian resistance front.
Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.
Israel has killed at least 183 Palestinians since the start of 2022 in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, including 26 since the start of October, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a new report yesterday.
Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.
‘Deadliest year for Palestinians’
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, has warned that 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, calling for immediate action to calm “an explosive situation” and move toward re-launch of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Wennesland told the UN Security Council on Friday that “mounting hopelessness, anger, and tension have once again erupted into a deadly cycle of violence that is increasingly difficult to contain,” and “too many people, overwhelmingly Palestinians, have been killed and injured.”
The senior UN official also noted that the current volatile situation in the West Bank stems from decades of violence that has taken a toll on Palestinians, the prolonged absence of dialogue between the two sides, and the failure to resolve key issues fueling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.