TEL AVIV, Israel (HPD) — Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in the West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, and another was shot dead after stabbing a policeman in East Jerusalem.
The incidents come as Israel counts the last ballots for the general election held on Tuesday. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to command a comfortable majority backed by far-right associates.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, a man was killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli police explained that the death occurred during a search in the territory and alleged that the man threw a firebomb against his forces.
Palestinian authorities identified the man as Daoud Mahmoud Khalil Rayan, 42, from the West Bank town of Beit Duqqu.
Israeli police said paramilitary border guards had searched a home in the town of the Palestinian who rammed a soldier with his truck the day before and ran into a violent protest in which protesters hurled stones and firebombs at them. The agents opened fire on the person who threw the device, he added.
In another incident on Thursday, a Palestinian stabbed an officer in Jerusalem’s Old City, police said, before being killed. The officer who was attacked suffered minor injuries.
The violence comes as a political shift in Israel is finalized after the general elections. Netanyahu will almost certainly return to power in a coalition government made up of far-right allies, including extremist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, who, in response to the incidents, has said the country will soon adopt a tougher approach toward aggressors. .
“The time has come to bring safety back to the streets,” he tweeted. “The time has come for a terrorist who goes out to carry out an attack to be eliminated!”
The incidents were the latest in a wave of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that has claimed the lives of more than 130 Palestinians so far this year, making 2022 the deadliest year since 2015. The clashes intensified after a series of Palestinian attacks that left 19 dead in Israel in the spring, prompting the country to launch a lengthy operation in the West Bank that it says is seeking to dismantle insurgent networks. In recent weeks, the incursions have been met with an increase in attacks against Israelis in which at least three people have been killed.
Separately, Israel on Thursday removed its checkpoints inside and outside Nablus, which were set up weeks ago to combat a new insurgent group known as the Lions’ Den. The army has carried out several operations there in recent weeks, killing or arresting the group’s top commanders.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and has since militarily occupied a territory where it has settled more than 500,000 settlers. The Palestinians want the West Bank, as well as East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, to form their future independent state.