As the violence escalates, the killing of an unarmed Palestinian mother highlights the terrible number of the occupation

Sabateen, a 47-year-old widow, mother of six and maths teacher, died of her wounds after being shot in the legs by Israeli forces near a temporary military checkpoint in the village on Sunday after the Israeli army said she did not listen to verbal warnings and ran towards them while firing warning shots into the air. She was unarmed, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Her six children, ranging in age from 11 to 22, looked amazed as they sat in the formal living room of their grandparents’ house and their family members spoke through tears.

Similar scenes of families grieving for a loved one who has been lost to this cycle of violence that grips Israel and the West Bank have taken place in Israeli homes, just a few dozen kilometers away, after 11 civilians and three uniformed security officers were killed in a wave of attacks, including a mass shooting last week at a busy bar in central Tel Aviv.
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Following these attacks, Israeli military operations increased in the occupied West Bank as forces carried out raids that they said were linked to the attacks or aimed at preventing future attacks. The atmosphere has been incredibly charged. Since Sunday, at least four Palestinians and one Israeli have been shot and killed by Israeli forces. In all but the Sabateen’s case, the Israeli military said soldiers opened fire in response to acts of violence. In one case, a woman stabbed a border police officer; in another, a man threw Molotov cocktails at cars, the army said.

Sabateen’s family said that after she was shot, it took at least 15 minutes before anyone was allowed to approach her. When she arrived at the hospital, she was dying of blood loss, Sabateen’s aunt said. The Israeli military said its soldiers followed the protocol of a person who acted suspiciously and provided initial medical assistance. Video from the scene shows a soldier working on the Sabateen, her body shielded by pieces of cardboard for modest reasons, the IDF said. The IDF said they are investigating the incident.

“When I saw the video of how she was shot, I felt emptiness, I felt like my soul was leaving me, I wish it was me,” Ghada’s son Mansour told CNN.

Representatives of the EU and the UN have condemned the killing of Sabateen. The EU delegation to the Palestinians said in a tweet “Such excessive use of lethal force against an unarmed civilian is unacceptable.”

The Sabate’s family said they want the soldier or soldiers who pressed the trigger to be held accountable.

“I felt very angry when I saw the video, I do not know where to go with all this anger,” said Ghada’s 20-year-old son Mohammed.

It is difficult to pinpoint a trigger point for this latest wave of violence. Israeli officials say the attacks are “lone wolf” actions, with no major organizations behind them. It makes them harder to prevent.

And although the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians, he remains under pressure, not least from the United States, to withdraw financial support to the families of those carrying out the attacks.

What a meeting in Israel says about a changing world order

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – who is facing his own political crisis after losing a parliamentary majority – has promised swift action to prevent further attacks and said on Sunday “The state of Israel has attacked … there are no restrictions. [Israeli security forces] in the war on terrorism. ”

Such rhetoric has raised red flags in the West Bank when Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Monday accused Israel of imposing a “shoot to kill” policy.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, president of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, told CNN that the latest wave of violence stems from the Israeli government pushing aside any kind of political peace process and instead promoting a policy aimed at opening up economic opportunities for Palestinians, such as work permits, with the hope that it will achieve peace.

“Trying to say that the Palestinians will just accept the situation if their economic situation improves is a myth,” Barghouti said.

Barghouti said the Palestinians are not only angry at the Israeli occupation, but also at the United States for breaking its promises to reopen a consulate for Palestinians. And perhaps just as importantly, there are deep frustrations with their own political leadership for failing to hold democratic elections, and also with the international community for what Barghouti said is a double standard while watching the West sanction Russia for its actions in Ukraine. while ignoring Israel.

But things can get worse, especially if religious tensions rise even higher as Ramadan, Easter and Easter all overlap this weekend. Israeli officials say a group of Palestinians vandalized the site, believed to be the tomb of the biblical prophet Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus. At the same time, extremist Jewish groups have announced plans to go to Temple Mount, known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, to pray and practice the ancient Jewish ritual of sacrificing a lamb before the Passover holiday.

Such an act is perceived by the Palestinians as incredibly provocative. Under the 1967 agreement with Jordan, which administers Jerusalem’s holiest site, Jews are not allowed to pray on the site, although a growing number of extremist Jewish groups have prayed openly in recent years. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, where the property is located, as the capital of their future state.

“The most dangerous are provocations against the Al Aqsa Mosque, and it could lead to an explosion in the entire area,” Barghouti warned, sparking the 11-day war in May last year between Hamas-led militants in Gaza and Israel.

Other top news from the Middle East

Lebanon’s prime minister says he will visit Saudi Arabia during Ramadan

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday that he would visit Saudi Arabia during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Al-Jadeed TV reported.

  • Background: Diplomatic ties between Lebanon and some Arab states have been strained over the years amid the growing influence of the Hezbollah movement, which is supported by Iran. The relationship hit rock bottom last year after a former Lebanese minister openly criticized Saudi Arabia.
  • Why it matters: The announced visit will be the latest in a series of steps showing improved relations between Lebanon and its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen announced last week that they will bring their ambassadors back to Lebanon. Improved ties could open doors for increased support that could help Lebanon’s deteriorating economy recover.

Iran’s Khamenei says the country’s fate should not depend on nuclear negotiations

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the future of the Islamic Republic should not be tied to the fate of the nuclear talks, Iranian state media reported.

  • Background: Negotiations to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have so far stalled between Iran and the Western powers. “Absolutely do not wait for nuclear negotiations in the planning of the country and move on,” Khamenei told a gathering of senior officials. “Do not let your work be disrupted, whether the negotiations reach positive or semi-positive or negative results.”
  • Why it matters: Iran’s economy has been hit hard by Western sanctions, which were particularly brutal after then-President Donald Trump introduced a “maximum pressure” campaign to crack down on Iranian influence in the region. Iran then began violating the borders of its nuclear program.

Dubai Electricity shares rise at trading debut after the largest regional IPO since Aramco

Shares of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) rose about 20% on Tuesday on the first day of trading on the Dubai Financial Market.

  • Background: DEWA last week offered $ 6.1 billion in the Gulf’s largest IPO since Saudi Aramco’s record $ 29.4 billion in 2019. Dubai’s deputy governor said DEWA had attracted 315 billion dirhams ($ 86 billion) in demand for the listing,
  • Why it matters: The listing will raise money for Dubai and aims to help its stock market compete more strongly with major regional rivals, including Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Public share sales are Dubai’s largest.

Around the region

A sketch on Saudi television mocking US President Joe Biden has gone viral on Twitter.

A recent clip from the show Studio 22 featured an actor who imitated Biden at a press conference about Russia. The scene depicts a seemingly senile, sluggish and lethargic Biden in need of help from Vice President Kamala Harris. The clip has been viewed more than 7 million times on social media.

Ramadan is the best broadcast time for television viewing in the Middle East. It’s the season that takes the bulk of the budgets of advertisers and content creators, and it’s also a time for artists to showcase their talent and push the boundaries of social and political taboos.

Countries like Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon always have a mix of drama and comedy series every Ramadan, but Saudi television has increased its game in attracting regional audiences.

Studio 22 is a comedy program on state-owned MBC that tells the story of a bankrupt TV channel that tries to survive against all odds. The show features satirical imitations of several celebrities and political figures such as Boris Johnson, Will Smith and even the pride of the Arabs, the football player Mo Salah.

This kind of mockery of a US president, even if it takes place in the midst of tense Saudi-US relations, is not the first. Another program at MBC called Wi-Fi previously mocked both Donald Trump and Barack Obama while in office.

Studio 22 has raised eyebrows before. Adil al-Kalbani, the former imam of the Great Mosque in Mecca, said in a television interview this month that he may take legal action against the program after it carried out a sketch that made fun of his turn from the imam in Islam’s holiest site to promote government-sponsored entertainment festivals in television commercials. In promotional campaigns for the Riyadh Season Festival, the former imam was portrayed as a Game of Thrones ‘Free Folk’ character.

By Mohammed Abdelbary

Picture of the day

A traditional "hakawati"  storyteller performs late after midnight during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the historic Dar Halabia Hotel (restored after damage during the Syrian conflict) in Bab Antakya (Antioch Gate) in the ancient city of Syria.  northern Aleppo, on 12 April.

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