Israel claims to have killed a top Hamas official in West Bank

Israel’s army said that its soldiers have killed a top Hamas official in the illegally occupied West Bank on January 17, according to The Guardian. 

Since October 7, the IDF have carried out numerous and often brutal operations in the territory and on the morning of January 17, around 12 were killed including Hamas member Ahmed Abdullah Abu Shalal, who it is believed has been at the forefront of several terror attacks and was planning one expected to take place soon. 

The IDF statement noted that the militant, who was in a vehicle, was wiped out by a precision airstrike in the city of Nablus. 

They added, “Under Abdullah’s leadership, the terrorist infrastructure in the Balata camp in Nablus has received funding and guidance from Iranian sources.”   

The Balata refugee camp, situated on Nablus’ outskirts, is home to 15,000 people and was founded in 1950.  

READ: US declares visa bans on Israel over West Bank violence

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Health Ministry said following the strike that a body of an “unidentified martyr killed by the occupation (Israel) in a bombing of a vehicle” had been received by a hospital in Nablus. 

A territory home to just shy of 3 million Palestinians, the West Bank was originally occupied during the six-day war in 1967. 

As the Gaza crisis deepens, 25,000 have been massacred in the besieged enclave, Israel’s actions in the West Bank have been the harshest since around two decades. The AFP recently reported that 350 have been killed there since the start of Israel’s escalation of brutality in Gaza. 

At the end of November, Israeli forces undertook a major raid in the West Bank city of Jenin where a refugee camp was targeted, homes were stripped to the ground and dozens were wrongfully arrested. 

November’s attacks deeply concerned the international community as well as humanitarian organisations globally who have on repeated occasions accused Israel of practicing a system of apartheid akin to South Africa for over 40 years until the early 1990s. 

It is therefore little surprise that the South Africans strongly sympathise with the Palestinian struggle and that it was them who brought an International Court of Justice (ICJ) case against the Middle Eastern state for what they claim to be genocide in Gaza in addition to the failure of holding to account those encouraging such acts. 

It is expected that the ICJ, The United Nations’ highest court based at The Hague, will not be making a verdict on the case any time soon. 

The Guardian/ AFP 

 

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