On January 17, a 40-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli forces in Halhul, a town on the northern outskirts of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The Ministry of Health identified the man as Hamdi Abu Dayyeh, a police officer with the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian media outlets reported that Abu Dayyeh was shot while carrying out a shooting attack against Israeli forces stationed at a checkpoint in the area. No injuries were reported on the Israeli side, and witnesses stated the Israeli military prevented ambulances from approaching Abu Dayyeh.
The Israeli army told Al Jazeera that the man killed was “suspected of carrying out two shooting attacks in the last 48 hours”.
Over the past year, the life of Palestinians worsened as Israel led near-daily raids and killings in Palestinian villages, cities, and refugee camps in the West Bank, which has been under military occupation since 1967, even though the majority of those killed have been civilians.
Following a string of attacks by Palestinians since March 2022, the Israeli army launched the “Break the Wave” operation, which attempts to crush growing armed resistance, particularly in the West Bank’s cities of Nablus and Jenin. Israel’s three-day assault on the blockaded Gaza Strip in August was also conducted as part of that campaign.
Among the emerging resistance groups are the Lions’ Den, the Jenin Brigades, affiliated mainly with the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Nablus Brigades.
The effect of these groups has been evident from the sharp increase in shooting operations at checkpoints and killings of Israeli soldiers and settlers over the past year. The Lions’ Den has since taken responsibility for several shootings, but the fighters’ refusal to identify with any particular political party has caused problems for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
According to the United Nations, 2022 was the bloodiest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2006, with Israeli forces killing 171 Palestinians. This number does not take into account the 49 people who were killed in the three-day Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip in August. Also, at least 9,000 Palestinians were injured during the same period.
Abu Dayyeh is already the 15th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the area since the start of 2023. This number includes four minors.