A Palestinian dentist, Dr. Nidal Mohammad Jabareen, 54, died of a heart attack on Friday, September 18, when Israeli occupation forces began firing concussion grenades at Palestinian civilians near the Barta’a checkpoint, southwest of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
An eyewitness said that the dentist was walking in the area set aside for pedestrian traffic passing through the checkpoint when a soldier directly fired a concussion grenade at him, terrifying him and causing him to collapse to the ground. Dr. Jabareen was rushed to Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in his hometown of Jenin where he was pronounced dead a few minutes later.
At the same time on Friday, three Palestinians, including a journalist, were injured by rubber-coated rounds as Israeli occupation forces attacked the weekly anti-settlements protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum, in the northern West Bank. Morad Shtewi, coordinator of the popular resistance in the village, said Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel rounds and teargas canisters towards the protesters, wounding three of them, including the journalist Mohammad Fawzi. Several other protesters suffered from teargas inhalation. Since 2011, Palestinians have been organizing weekly protests in the village of Kafr Qaddum to demonstrate against Israel’s continued closure of the village’s main entrance, as well as against expanding colonial settlement activities in the area.
Also on Friday, settlers destroyed dozens of olive trees in As-Sawiya village, south of Nablus. Head of As-Sawiya Village Council, Murad Abu Ras, said that the villagers were shocked to discover early Friday morning that dozens of their olive trees had been felled with axes by settlers from the nearby Israeli colonial settlement of Rechalim. Abu Ras added that settlers have frequently targeted Palestinian olive groves in the village, and have destroyed centuries-old trees.
Settler attacks intensify every year when Palestinian farmers begin the olive harvesting season. Attacks are mainly in the northern West Bank villages in the Nablus and Salfit districts, which have the larget concentration of Jewish settlements.
With more than 12 million olive trees planted across 45% of the West Bank’s agricultural land, the olive harvest constitutes one of the primary sources of economic sustainability for thousands of Palestinian families. According to UN OCHA, the olive oil industry supports the livelihoods of more than 100,000 families and accounts for a quarter of the gross agricultural income of the occupied territories.