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Palestine: Palestinian killed amid Israel, West Bank violence

9th Oct 2015
Palestine: Palestinian killed amid Israel, West Bank violence

JERUSALEM (AA): A Palestinian man was shot dead in Jerusalem during clashes with police on Thursday, amid an ongoing wave of violence in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Wisam Faraj, 20, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during heavy clashes in the Shufat refugee camp that also left almost 40 injured, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Earlier, another Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier and injuring four others in the Israeli city Tel Aviv. There were three other similar stabbing attacks during the day, in Jerusalem’s Old City, near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and in a northern Israeli city, according to Israeli army and police statements.

At least 160 Palestinians were also hurt by Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Thursday’s incidents followed four similar reported knife attacks a day earlier in Jerusalem and two other cities, one of which left an alleged Palestinian attacker dead after being shot by Israeli security forces.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, for his part, reacted to Thursday’s violence by calling on Israeli residents of the city to carry licensed firearms.

Security in Jerusalem’s historic Old City — the scene of three recent reported knife attacks — has been stepped up noticeably, with metal detectors being installed at the city’s gates.

The latest violence comes against the backdrop of frequent clashes that have occurred this week between Israeli security forces and Palestinian youths, in which hundreds of the latter have been injured.

The clashes were initially triggered by Israeli restrictions on the entry of Palestinian Muslims into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque — Islam’s third holiest site.

Since Saturday, seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces, either during protests or clashes or after alleged knife attacks, prompting a number of rights groups to call on Israel to stop using live fire against protesters.

Human Rights Watch said Thursday that Israeli rules of engagement vis-à-vis unarmed protesters violated international law, noting that a 13-year-old Palestinian boy had been killed when security forces fired on a crowd in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

“The death of a child after security forces used live ammunition against demonstrators should be a wake-up call for Israeli officials,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, said in a statement.

“Israel should abide by international standards and immediately cancel the loosened rules of engagement for police,” Stork added, referring to a recent Israeli government decision to allow troops to use live ammunition against stone-throwing protesters.

Palestinians complain that the new rules of engagement discriminate against them, as the same measures are not taken against Israeli settlers who throw stones at Palestinians.

Rami Saleh, director of the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, told Anadolu Agency that the apartheid-like decision could draw a strong backlash from Palestinians.

“This will serve to legalize the shooting of Palestinians,” he said, warning that the murder of Palestinian protesters by Israeli troops could lead to another popular uprising, or intifada.

“This [ruling] will only add fuel to the fire,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to try to ease tensions on Wednesday night, declaring that no Jewish members of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) would be allowed to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In September of 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the Second Intifada — a years-long popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Author: Aness Suheil Barghoti , Kaamil Ahmed
[Photo: Relatives mourn over the dead body of a Palestinian teen, Wissam Faraj who was shot dead reportedly by the Israeli security forces during a protest in the Shuafat refugee camp in Eastern Jerusalem, at a hospital’s morgue in Ramallah, West Bank on October 08, 2015.Photographer: Issam Rimawi/AA]

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