July 2023 | West Bank sees most violent Israeli raid in recent years
In the midst of escalating tensions across the West Bank, the Israeli military conducted a large-scale operation in the densely populated Jenin refugee camp between 3 and 5 July. The offensive was the most significant since the Second Intifada (2000-2005), leaving at least 12 Palestinians killed and 143 wounded. Moreover, the operation damaged the camp’s infrastructure extensively, causing power outages, Internet cuts, sewer disruptions, and a lack of access to clean water. Israeli forces bulldozed roads and imposed access restrictions, impeding ambulance services. An estimated 3,500 residents were displaced. In retaliation, militants based in Gaza launched rockets towards Tel Aviv on 5 July. Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza. Further incidents throughout July claimed the lives of at least 27 Palestinians and one Israeli.
The operation in Jenin drew international criticism, with condemnations from the United Nations and a European envoy questioning the “proportionality” of Israeli force. Israel maintains that its raids in Jenin are targeted efforts to dismantle "terrorist infrastructure". However, experts have asserted that these actions constitute war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, suggesting that legal action should be initiated to ensure those responsible are held accountable.
May 2023 | Violence escalates amid expansion of Israeli settlements
There were violent clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank, driven by the Israeli government’s pro-settler agenda. These attacks involved various forms of violence, including physical assaults, property damage, and raids on Palestinian homes and villages. The situation was further aggravated by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s second ‘provocative’ visit to Temple Mount on 21 May, accompanied by inflammatory rhetoric. International actors including the US government have raised concerns about the relocation of Israeli settlers to an illegal outpost at Homesh, recently approved by the Israeli government. Moreover, Israel's publication of tenders for new settlement units in the West Bank on 29 May has also drawn international condemnation amid concerns about the prospects for a two-state solution. The documented incidents underscore the persistent challenges in the occupied territories, exacerbating insecurity and violating the rights of Palestinians, with 490 attacks perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians during May.
February 2023 | Worst violence seen in decades in Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Violence and tensions continued to rise in the West Bank this month as Israeli authorities intensified settlement operations by conducting a series of daily raids that resulted in deadly clashes with Palestinians. On 22 February, Israeli forces conducted the deadliest raid in years, in which 11 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured. This prompted a wave of protests and Palestinian attacks against Israelis, killing two settlers. In retaliation, a mob of Israeli settlers rampaged through several Palestinian villages, burning dozens of homes and cars, leaving one man dead and nearly 400 injured. In the first two months of 2023, 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops and civilians, making it the deadliest start to a year since 2000. In attempt to relieve tensions, Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Jordan and issued a joint statement pledging to de-escalate surging violence. Israel vowed to pause new settlement discussions for four months but denied it would suspend settlement expansion.
Also in February, Israel announced the legalization of several settlements in the West Bank and approved an amended Citizenship Law that permits the removal of Israeli citizenship and residency of Palestinians convicted of terrorism.
January 2023 | Waves of deadly violence intensify conflict in Israel-Palestine
An escalation of violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict during the first weeks in office of Israel’s new government resulted in dozens of deaths on both sides. 32 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in January, continuing the alarming trend from 2022. An Israeli army raid in which ten Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp on 26 January was followed by an attack by a Palestinian gunman against a synagogue in East Jerusalem on 27 January in which seven people were killed. The raid in Jenin follows ten months of intensified Israeli army raids in the West Bank as well as violence and vandalism by settlers against Palestinian communities. In response to the raid, Palestinian authorities threatened to cut off security cooperation, and noted Israel’s repeated aggressions and undermining of signed agreements. The Israeli government likewise introduced a series of punitive measures in response to the shooting, including laws stripping rights from Palestinians and death sentences for acts of ‘terrorism.’