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West Bank: Israeli settler kills Palestinian near Qalqilya

Killing comes amid increased tensions triggered by a spike in Israeli deadly attacks and a resurgence of Palestinian resistance
Abd al-Karim Badie al-Shaikh, 21, was killed by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank on 10 March 2023 (Social media)

An Israeli settler killed a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank on Friday, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Abd al-Karim Badie al-Shaikh, 21, was shot dead after he entered the Ma'ale Shomron settlement east of the Palestinian city of Qalqilya.

The Israeli military alleged al-Shaikh infiltrated the farm equipped with a knife and makeshift "explosive devices" and claimed he was planning to carry out an attack. 

Nearly 700,000 settlers live in more than 250 settlements and outposts across the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of international law.

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Tensions have been high across Israel and Palestine in recent months amid a spike in Israeli deadly attacks and a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance. 

Israel-Palestine: What's driving tensions in the West Bank?
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On Thursday evening a Palestinian man opened fire on a busy Tel Aviv street and wounded three people, two of them were left in critical condition.

The shooter, identified as a 23-year-old from Ramallah, was later shot dead by armed civilians and police officers at the scene. 

The incident followed yet another deadly Israeli raid in the West Bank earlier in the day that killed three Palestinians

Israeli forces have killed at least 77 Palestinians this year, which corresponds to a rate of nearly one killing every day. 

It's the bloodiest start to a year since 2000, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

At least 13 Israelis were killed by Palestinians in the same period. 

In recent months there has been a notable shift in the Israeli army's tactics, with deadly nighttime and daytime raids in the West Bank becoming commonplace.

In a raid on Jenin earlier this year, the Israeli military killed 10 Palestinians in a single day. Another similar, large-scale operation in Nablus last month left 11 Palestinians dead, including at least four unarmed people. 

Israeli settler violence has also surged. UN data shows there has been a 137 percent increase in settler attacks between 2020 and 2022. Suspected settlers have killed at least 10 Palestinians since 2022.

There are concerns a wider flare-up may happen this April when Passover, Easter, and Ramadan all overlap.

This means that Israeli settlers will try to make unsolicited visits to the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque for Passover, which because it is during Ramadan, will be a time when the mosque is normally filled with Muslim worshippers.

Such settler and police incursions in the past have led to massive outbreaks of violence.

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