A Palestinian was killed by Israeli soldiers on Friday in clashes in Bayta, West Bank – a sign that tensions remain high in the region despite the ceasefire agreement that ended an 11-day conflict which has claimed hundreds of lives.
According to Palestinian media, Zakaria Maher Hamayel, 28, was an activist in the Islamic group Hamas, considered a terrorist by Israel. The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said Hamayel was shot in the chest after a demonstration against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The Israeli armed forces confirmed the incident and said they were investigating the case. At least 22 people were injured in similar clashes in Salfit, also in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
In Nablus, in the north of the territory, hundreds of Palestinians also demonstrated. Witnesses said people in the crowd with covered faces threw stones at the soldiers and set tires on fire. The IDF said it responded to a “violent disturbance” with dispersal means. The circumstances of Hamayel’s death have not been clarified.
On Friday, a week after the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, thousands of hooded fighters from the Islamic group’s military wing marched through the Gaza Strip, showing off launchers, rockets and a drone.
On foot or in vehicles, most carried weapons in their hands as they marched through the town of Rafah in the southern Palestinian territory. A crowd attended the march, including children, and several people were wearing paraphernalia referring to Hamas brigades.
On Thursday (27), the UN Human Rights Council approved the opening of an international investigation into possible crimes committed in the conflict between the Islamic group and Israel.
The investigation will investigate all possible violations in Gaza, the West Bank and Israeli territory during the 11 days of hostilities, and attempt to gather evidence that could be used in the initiation of legal proceedings and in the identification of possible culprits. The resolution was approved by 24 member countries of the body, while 9 rejected it and 13 abstained – among them, Brazil.
HOW COUNTRIES VOTED
Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Philippines, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela
Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Marshall Islands, Malawi, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Uruguay
Bahamas, Brazil, South Korea, Denmark, Fiji, France, Netherlands, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Togo and Ukraine
Hamas began firing rockets at Israel on the 10th in retaliation for what it called violations of Israeli rights against Palestinians in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. The attacks came after a series of clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian groups at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a trial court ruling that could evict Palestinian families from a disputed neighborhood in East Jerusalem since its annexation by Israel in 1967. In response, the Israeli armed forces began to bomb Gaza.
The series of violence was the most serious since 2014. The last major clash lasted 51 days and devastated the Gaza Strip, killing at least 2,251 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 74 Israelis, almost all soldiers.
The current conflict has also served as fuel to escalate internal hostilities in Israeli cities that were previously seen as symbols of coexistence between Arabs and Jews. There have been hundreds of arrests and local authorities have declared states of emergency and curfews. In addition, there were signs of revolt against Israel among the Arab population of neighboring Lebanon and Jordan, raising fears that the conflict would destabilize the entire Middle East – which it did not do.