A year of relentless Israeli-Palestinian violence

Tensions reach a boiling point on April 5 when Israeli police storm the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque.


Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have reached their highest level in years following clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians inside a revered Jerusalem mosque. 

Anger over the raid on Al-Aqsa mosque has spilled over into the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, which Israel bombarded at dawn Friday, a day after sustaining a barrage of cross-border rocket attacks.

AFP looks back at a year of worsening violence:

Deadly attacks in Israel

The upsurge in violence starts on March 22, 2022, when a convicted Islamic State sympathiser goes on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, killing four people.

A week later, a West Bank Palestinian opens fire at passers-by in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, killing five people, including an Arab-Israeli police officer.

On April 7, a Palestinian gunman from Jenin kills three people and wounds more than a dozen others in a popular Tel Aviv nightlife district.

In May, three people are killed and four wounded in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad when two assailants leap from a car swinging axes at passers-by.

This video is no longer available.

West Bank crackdown

The spate of attacks causes outrage in Israel, which responds with over 2,000 raids in 2022 on the occupied West Bank, targeting particularly the militant bastions of Jenin and Nablus.

On May 11, 2022, veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh dies after being shot in the head while covering clashes between the Israeli army and militants in Jenin. 

On October 25, Israeli raids leave five Palestinians dead in Nablus.

‘Preventive’ Gaza strikes

On August 5, 2022, Israeli launches three days of artillery and air strikes against the Islamic Jihad group in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, accusing it of planning attacks in Israel.

At least 49 Palestinians are killed, including 17 children.

Islamic Jihad launches hundreds of rockets in retaliation.

Violence surges in 2023

The violence intensifies in 2023, beginning on January 26 with an Israeli “counter-terrorism operation” in Jenin that leaves 10 people dead.

A day later, a Palestinian gunman kills seven Israelis  outside a synagogue in east Jerusalem.

On February 6, Israeli forces kill five people, including suspected Hamas militants, during clashes in the West Bank town of Jericho. 

Four days later, two Israeli brothers aged six and eight, and one student are killed in a car ramming attack on a bus stop in east Jerusalem.

On February 22, the Israeli army carries out its deadliest West Bank incursion in nearly 20 years when it kills 11 Palestinians, including a teenager in Nablus.

A raid on March 7 in Jenin leaves six Palestinians dead.

This video is no longer available.

Settlers rampage after attack

On February 26, two Israeli settlers are shot dead as they drive through the northern West Bank town of Huwara. 

That evening, hundreds of settlers in the town go on the rampage, torching Palestinian homes and cars and throwing stones.

By April 1, the number of deaths since the start of January stands at 104: 88 Palestinians, one Arab Israeli, 14 Israelis and one Ukrainian, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli and Palestinian sources.

Al-Aqsa standoff

Tensions reach a boiling point on April 5 when Israeli police storm the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque in annexed east Jerusalem, sparking clashes in Islam’s third-holiest site as Muslim observe the fasting month of Ramadan.

The clashes between the police and worshippers, some armed with stones and fireworks, cause widespread outrage, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders of Muslim countries expressing shock at a video showing police clubbing people on the floor.

Israel strikes Lebanon, Gaza

Palestinian militants in Gaza and suspected Palestinian militants in Lebanon respond to the Al-Aqsa raid by firing a barrage of rockets at Israel.

Israel responds by bombarding both Gaza and southern Lebanon at dawn on Friday. 

Hours later, two Israeli sisters are killed and their mother seriously wounded in a shooting in the West Bank.

This video is no longer available.

Read more on these topics

Israel Jerusalem Palestine

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits