In 2022 the Israeli security forces continued been carrying out intensive counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. On March 31, 2022, after a series of terrorist attacks inside Israel which killed 14 Israelis, Operation Wave Breaker was announced. Its objective is to detain Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity, locate weapons and find money used to fund terrorism. Its activities, which have been carried out almost daily, raised the level of friction between the Israeli security forces and Palestinians, who react with clashes and riots, some of them organized beforehand, and which sometimes turn into exchanges of gunfire.
f According to ITIC records, Israeli counterterrorism activities and clashes with Palestinians, carried out from January 1, 2022, to July 14, 2022, led to the deaths of 49 Palestinians, a relatively high number compared to previous years (nine in 2021). The rise in the number of deaths is apparently a combination of the intensive activities of the Israeli security forces, which sometimes operate in several locations simultaneously, and the violent and sometimes organized Palestinian reactions. According to the IDF, friction and violence in Judea and Samaria have been rising and the security forces use live fire after all other options have been exhausted; the forces follow IDF orders for opening fire and obey international law (Haaretz, July 13, 2022).
Clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces in Silwad (Wafa, April 13, 2022).
Right: Armed terrorist operatives shoot at Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp (Shehab Twitter account, April 9, 2022). Left: Masked Palestinian throws a Molotov cocktail at IDF forces in Hebron (Ma’an, April 1, 2022).
Palestinians riot in the center of Hebron against IDF forces (Wafa Facebook page, February 11, 2022).
An ITIC analysis of the information about the Palestinians killed indicated the following:
Of the 49 Palestinians killed, 33 (67%) belonged to one of the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Nineteen were Fatah operatives, although not all belonged to its military-terrorist wing; 11 were Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives, two were Hamas operatives and one was a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operative.
Sixteen (33%) Palestinians who were killed had no organizational affiliation. However, at least some of them had previously participated in clashes with the Israeli security forces. One was known as a permanent “demonstrator,” two had been imprisoned in Israel and released, and one was a wanted terrorist operative. One Palestinian was killed while trying to cross the border security fence in an attempt to find employment in Israel. A woman was killed in error when IDF forces suspected she intended to carry out a terrorist attack.
In some instances, especially recently, when a Palestinian was killed, Fatah, Hamas or the PIJ and sometimes two or all issued mourning notices for him, even when in reality he had not organizational affiliation.
Distribution According to Organization
Most of the Palestinians were killed close to where they lived. The Jenin area is one of the focal points for Israeli security force counterterrorism activities and clashes with Palestinians, 15 of whom were killed in the region. Six were killed in Ramallah and six in Bethlehem.
Residence of Killed Palestinians
Most of the Palestinians killed (37) were between the ages of 20 and 30.
Distribution According to Age
Methodology: The ITIC analyzed only Palestinians who were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces and not operatives killed during terrorist attacks or attempted attacks. Since in some instances more than one organization claimed the operative as its own, the decision as to which organization he belonged was made according to the flag in which his body was wrapped for burial or other means of identification were seen during the funeral.