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Israeli forces kill three Palestinians, including a policeman, as violence flares in West Bank

Armed clashes and confrontations seen in Jenin, Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, with dozens wounded

Three Palestinians, including a police officer, were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Thursday morning during violent confrontations.

Violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces flared up in several West Bank towns and cities, including Bethlehem and Jenin, with tensions rising following the release of Donald Trump’s plan to address the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Tarek Badwan, a Palestinian police officer from Azzoun village, was shot by Israeli forces and succumbed to his wounds in the afternoon, according to a Palestinian police spokesperson.

CCTV footage being circulated online shows Badwan standing inside Jenin’s police station talking to other officers, before collapsing, apparently struck by a bullet.

Luay Ezreikat, the Palestinian police spokesperson, said in a statement: “The martyr Badwan was shot by the occupation forces while on his police duty in the police station, and was transferred to al-Razi Hospital for treatment. His condition was critical and he died after a few hours.”

Palestinian police closely coordinate with Israeli forces to maintain security and control in the West Bank. The security coordination, which the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel heavily rely on, has been put into question in recent days as the PA seeks to find ways to confront US-Israeli plans to annex large parts of the West Bank.

Badwan was the second Palestinian to be shot during clashes in Jenin, when Israeli forces arrived to back up military bulldozers as they began to demolish the house of Ahmed Qanaba, a Palestinian prisoner accused of aiding a Hamas cell in the West Bank.

An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, told Middle East Eye that hundreds of Palestinian youths massed to confront the Israeli forces, some armed with guns, with violent clashes ensuing.

Yazan Munther Abu Tabikh, 19-year-old student at the Palestinian Authority’s Istiqlal Military College, was shot dead, while five others were taken to hospital for treatment after being wounded.

The Abu Tabikh family said in an interview with local media that their son was shot in the chest with a live bullet and died instantly.

“The bullets were coming out from all directions. Everyone lay on the ground and we did not know where to hide from the bullets,” the eyewitness said.

He added it was the first time in years that the city of Jenin had witnessed an armed clash with soldiers during this kind of confrontation. Usually, Palestinian youth throw stones or Molotov cocktails at the raiding Israeli troops.

Meanwhile, Israeli police said they shot dead a gunman in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. A police spokesman told the AFP news agency the Palestinian opened fire on the policemen, “lightly wounding” one of them.

Intensifying demonstrations

Palestinian demonstrations have intensified in the last week in reaction to US President Trump’s  “deal of the century” plan to address the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The scheme has been condemned by Palestinians as overwhelmingly pro-Israel, allowing for the annexation of settlements in the West Bank and leaving Palestinians with a scattering of disconnected territories as the basis for a future state.

The house of a Palestinian prisoner demolished in Jenin (MEE/Abd Alkarim Saadi  Betselem)
The house of a Palestinian prisoner demolished in Jenin (MEE/Abd Alkarim Saadi Betselem)

Abu Tabikh, Badwan and the man slain in East Jerusalem bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces over the past 24 hours to four. On Wednesday, teenager Muhammad Salman al-Haddad was shot dead while confronting Israeli forces near Bab al-Zawiya in the centre of Hebron.

Meanwhile, 12 Israeli soldiers were wounded in a car ramming attack in Jerusalem on Thursday morning. One soldier was seriously injured and rushed to hospital.

The vehicle rammed into Israeli soldiers by the First Station, an Ottoman-era train station that has been turned into a leisure spot, at 2am.

The assailant is still at large, with Israeli forces tracking down his car in the West Bank’s Beit Jala, where a large manhunt is ongoing.

Also on Wednesday, the city of Ramallah witnessed violent confrontations, during which Molotov cocktails were thrown at military vehicles. No injuries were reported.