| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Palestinian gunman who opened fire at military checkpoint killed by Israeli security officers

According to Israeli police, an incident occurred at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, where a Palestinian assailant approached and initiated gunfire towards Israeli troops present at the location. Israeli security forces responded by shooting and killing the assailant, who was armed with an M16 rifle. Two security guards sustained minor injuries and were taken to the hospital, but their condition is now stable. The identity of the attacker has not been disclosed as reported by the Associated Press.
Settlers storm Palestinian village, setting homes on fire
In a separate incident, approximately 50 Israeli settlers armed with rifles and flammable substances rampaged through the streets of the Palestinian village of Umm Safa. They attempted to set fire to at least five homes with people inside. Palestinian rescue teams evacuated small children who were trapped in a burning house, and medics provided assistance amidst the chaos. Settlers also opened fire at civilians and medics, causing injuries. The violence and destruction have instilled fear and anger among the affected Palestinian residents.

Escalation of violence in the West Bank
These incidents add to the escalating violence that has plagued the West Bank in recent days. The week witnessed a gun battle between Israeli security forces and Palestinian militants in the Jenin refugee camp, resulting in casualties on both sides. Subsequently, Palestinian gunmen carried out an attack, killing four Israeli civilians before being neutralised. Israeli retaliatory actions, including an airstrike and settler attacks, further fuelled the cycle of violence, resulting in more casualties and destruction in Palestinian towns.
The ongoing violence has led to an alarming death toll, with 16 Palestinians and four Israelis killed in the past week alone.

Palestinians have faced a particularly deadly year, with 137 deaths attributed to Israeli fire in the West Bank, including militants and non-combatants.

The situation has intensified pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to respond forcefully to Palestinian militants, while the Palestinian Authority faces criticism for its perceived failure to protect civilians.

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