Israeli settlers have killed a Palestinian man and his son in the occupied West Bank during a funeral procession, the Palestinian Ministry of Health says.
Ibrahim Al-Wadi and his son Ahmed Al-Wadi were shot on Thursday when settlers opened fire at a funeral for four Palestinians killed on Wednesday by settlers and Israeli soldiers in the village of Qusra near Nablus.
The two were killed as a group of Palestinian men tried to remove car tyres put on the street by settlers to block the funeral procession.
Ibrahim’s brother, Abdul Azim, told Al Jazeera that the father and son confronted the settlers along with other Palestinian men as they tried to clear the way for the funeral. He said some men threw rocks to clear the road.
The Israeli army intervened at that point, Azim said, and both settlers and Israeli soldiers opened fire on the Palestinians attending the funeral, killing the father and son.
Qusra, a Palestinian village with half a dozen illegal Israeli settlements, is in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Nobani had spoken to Ibrahim on Wednesday by telephone after the four Palestinians were gunned down.
Ibrahim said the settler attacks on Palestinians in Qusra were systemic and had been going on even before the Israel-Hamas war began on Saturday.
The four killings on Wednesday happened after a large number of settlers stormed the house of Mahmoud Odeh, a Palestinian killed by the settlers in 2017.
To protect his family, Odeh’s son Awad climbed on the roof of the house to call for support from other residents in the village.
As people arrived, Ibrahim told Al Jazeera, the settlers and Israeli soldiers “initiated live fire directly on the upper bodies of [the men]”, injuring at least 11, including children.
Awad, who was still on the rooftop, was shot in the neck and jaw, Ibrahim said, adding that he was taken to a hospital in Ramallah where his condition was serious but stable. Four others – Abada Odeh, Moaz Odeh, Musab Abu Rida and a child identified as Hassan Odeh – were killed in the attack.
Ibrahim said at least three other Palestinians had injuries from live bullets fired by the Israeli army. He said the settlers in the area had threatened the residents of Qusra.
“We will crush the people of Qusra at their sites,” Ibrahim said, repeating the threat.
“Fears exist as the village is surrounded by six settlements from the southern and eastern sides,” he said. “They are taking advantage of the ongoing war and the cover available to them to implement their plan.”
Nobani said Ibrahim’s last words to him were: “We will confront with all our might and defend our people and our land.”
Tensions are running high in the occupied West Bank since Saturday when Hamas fighters launched an unprecedented attack inside Israel, which responded by a relentless bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip.
At least 1,400 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6,200 wounded in the enclave, whose 2.3 million residents – half of them children – live in what is commonly referred to as the world’s largest “open-air prison”.
At least 27 Palestinians have been killed in raids by the Israeli army in the West Bank since Saturday. Attacks by settlers have also reportedly killed several Palestinians in the region, which is under a lockdown due to the war.
Nida Ibrahim, Al Jazeera correspondent in Ramallah, said settler attacks on Palestinians average three a day. There have been more than 800 such attacks since the start of the year, she said.
“This is a crime. These are acts of genocide and cold-blooded murder that have no justification,” said Mahmoud Al Aloul, vice president of the Fatah Movement as he stood in front of Rafidia Surgical Hospital in Nablus after Ibrahim and his son’s killings on Thursday.
“It was a funeral for martyrs, and the people attending the funeral were shot too, which led to more martyrs,” he said.
“This is the main characteristic of the Israeli occupation, its state and its settlers. Their actions always affirm that we have no choice but to resist, resist their policies that aim to exterminate the Palestinian people.”