The resistance movement Hamas has reiterated that the Palestinian people have an inalienable “right” to defend their land against the Israeli occupation through all “legitimate means,” particularly “the armed struggle.”
“The Zionist occupation forces and settler gangs have escalated their frenzied aggression against our steadfast people in the [occupied] West Bank and Jerusalem [al-Quds],” the Gaza-based movement said in a press release on Sunday.
It added that such escalation in Israeli aggression led “to an increase in the number of martyrs, the wounded and detainees and results in the destruction of property and the burning of crops.”
The statement came after Israeli soldiers shot dead Badawi Masalmeh, an 18-year-old Palestinian, in al-Khalil (Hebron) south of the occupied West Bank. Israeli soldiers took away his body after he died on Saturday night.
“[This young man’s] dream was to see Palestine free without occupation and settlement, and this dream will come true through resistance,” the resistance movement said.
Palestinians in the West Bank observed a massive general strike, following the killing of Masalmeh.
On Sunday, shops and schools were closed in large parts of the West Bank after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and several other Palestinian groups in the region called for a strike.
Israeli authorities deployed a large number of troops to curb protests by Palestinians.
On Saturday, Israeli forces shot dead another Palestinian teenager, 16-year-old Fahd Mohammed Walid al-Astal, while he was protesting against the Israeli occupation during a rally east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. They wounded at least five other minors.
The Israeli military regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, claiming they pose a threat to the Tel Aviv regime forces.
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticized Tel Aviv for its shoot-to-kill policy. Israeli troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera killing Palestinians, with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.