In the ancient town of Betunia, nestled in the occupied West Bank, tensions between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth escalated into violent confrontations. These incidents, a manifestation of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have been marked by protests, clashes, and, at times, escalating to fatal violence. Both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to the West Bank, a region steeped in political and historical significance, leading to frequent disputes and confrontations.
Tragic Outcome of Confrontation
On Tuesday, two Palestinian teenagers were killed during Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank. Amir Wahdan, 14, was killed in Tubas in the northern West Bank, where the Israeli army had gone in to arrest 'two wanted suspects'. Clashes broke out as young Palestinians threw stones at Israeli army vehicles, to which the soldiers responded with gunfire. Near Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, 17-year-old Malik Deghreh was also killed by Israeli fire.
Escalating Tensions and Violence
The West Bank has seen a surge in violence, running parallel to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Clashes erupted in Beitunia, a village situated between the Israeli Ofer prison and Ramallah, after the Israeli army entered to carry out searches. On each occasion, the Israeli army has fired tear gas canisters and opened fire, injuring dozens.
Longstanding Conflict and its Consequences
Violence has flared in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, following the October 7 attacks on southern Israel by Hamas which left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities. Israel's retaliatory bombardments and ground offensive have killed nearly 15,000 people in the Gaza Strip, as per the Hamas government. In the West Bank, more than 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since this escalation, says the Palestinian health ministry.