Deadly attacks in the West Bank follow Israel’s raid on Al-Aqsa

JERUSALEM (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound was attacked on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by Israeli forces. After that a Palestinian man and an Israeli guard were slain in separate events in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian health ministry believes that the Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian man in the north of the occupied West Bank overnight on Friday.

Yahya Adwan, 27, was shot in the chest during an Israeli army operation near Azzun, according to a statement released by the ministry on Saturday.

Meanwhile, armed individuals opened fire on a guard stationed at the gate to the Ariel settlement on Friday night, according to the Israeli army. The man, in his twenties, died as a result of his injuries, according to emergency personnel.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, one of the main armed organisations in the occupied West Bank, claimed responsibility for the assassination.

In reaction to breaches perpetrated by the occupation administration in Jerusalem, they claim responsibility for the courageous operation in the colony of Ariel in which a Zionist officer was slain, the group added.

The Palestinian movement, Hamas, that rules Gaza, lauded the assassination as a “heroic operation,” with spokesperson Hazem Qassem declaring it a retaliation for assaults on Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site, which has been a focal point for weeks of unrest.

In response to the event, Israeli soldiers increased their presence on Saturday, especially at the entrance to the nearby Palestinian settlement of Salfi, according to an army statement.

Security authorities had also made arrests and seized firearms in adjacent Bruqin and the Balata refugee camp, according to the statement.

The armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah faction claimed responsibility for the incident on Saturday.

Nida Ibrahim of Al Jazeera reported from Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, that Adwan’s killing brought the total number of Palestinians slain in the past month to 26.

The majority of those slain have been in clashes with Israeli forces, since the number of Israeli military operations has increased, Ibrahim said.

She went on to say that the Israeli military was still looking for two shooters who were suspected of killing an Israeli guard near the Ariel settlement.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 42 people were hurt at the compound, which is Islam’s third holiest site, on Friday morning. For Jews, the compound’s Western Wall is sacred.

The incident, which occurred on the last Friday of Ramadan, left those who were injured with “upper-body injuries,” according to the Red Crescent.

Israeli police used rubber-coated bullets, according to an AFP correspondent, and witnesses stated tear gas was deployed as well.

Following the turmoil surrounding morning prayers, an uncomfortable calm had been restored inside the compound, but tensions remained high.

A multitude of Muslim worshippers gathered at Al-Aqsa in the early afternoon. According to an AFP correspondent, several protesters were waving Palestinian flags and Hamas banners.