The Occupied Territories are in upheaval.
As Israel increased its incursions in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, murdering more than 170 individuals, the number of Palestinians slain last year skyrocketed. However, this year has already started off worse than last, with practically daily Palestinian fatalities.
Two Palestinian males were killed by Israeli soldiers on Saturday during a raid in the West Bank. Ezzedine Bassem Hamamreh, 24, and Amjad Adnan Khaliliyeh, 23, reportedly died during an attack on the town of Jaba, south of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The two men, according to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, were members of the organization and killed while attempting to intervene against the "occupation troops, which were carrying out a cowardly assassination operation," according to the organisation. The following day, 45-year-old Ahmed Kahla was shot in the vicinity of the West Bank city of Ramallah and became the 13th Palestinian to be slain by Israeli troops in 15 days. Witnesses reportedly told the Palestinian news agency WAFA that Kahla was shot following an altercation with Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint.
Then, on Monday, an Israeli army operation in the southern West Bank resulted in the Israeli army shooting 14-year-old Omar Khaled Lutfi Khmour in the head. A day later, Israeli fire murdered 40-year-old Hamdi Abu Dayyeh in Halhul, a town outside of Hebron. According to Palestinian sources, Abu Dayyeh was shot dead while launching an armed assault against Israeli troops at a checkpoint.
The allegedly most right-wing Israeli administration in history has begun putting its far-right agenda into action against this violent backdrop. The nationalist-religious administration, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, aims to weaken the Supreme Court and conquer the West Bank. Yariv Levin, the minister of justice, wants to tighten government control over the judiciary and reduce the Supreme Court's power to overturn laws.
According to police and Israeli media, there were 80,000 demonstrators who marched in Tel Aviv over the weekend against the government's intentions. One protester accused Netayahu of "killing Israeli democracy" and referred to him as the "crime minister." As a result of the fact that "no Israeli prime minister has ever been a criminal with hands soiled with the blood of Palestinians, and no Israeli government has ever really supported democracy," however, columnist Yara Hawari says that this is nothing new.
Alireza Akbari, a former deputy defense minister and dual British-Iranian citizen who was found guilty of spying for the United Kingdom, was executed by Iran. The indictment against Akbari, which his family disputes, is that he "harmed the country's internal and exterior security by passing on intelligence," and he was hanged on Saturday. It was described as a "callous and despicable crime carried out by a barbarous regime" by the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and it is expected that the execution will further isolate the Iranian government following months of unrest.
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