Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in occupied West Bank

Reuters , Saturday 25 Apr 2015

Israeli police stand next to a poster of Palestinian teenager Ali Said Abu Ranam was shot dead by police officers, during clashes in Jerusalem, Saturday, April 25, 2015.(Photo:AP)

Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinians in separate incidents in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Saturday, Israeli police said.

In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli soldier.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri claims that the Palestinian man was shot after stabbing a soldier in the head and chest.

Samri described the dead Palestinian as being around 20-years-old. No further details on his identity were immediately available.

Samri also claimed that Ali Abu Ghannam, a 17-year-old Palestinian, attacked Israeli policeman with a cleaver at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem and then fled, with troops giving chase and firing warning shots in the air.

"Reaching a second checkpoint, Abu Ghannam drew another knife and ran toward security guards there. They shot him dead when he ignored their warnings to stop," Samri claimed.

Abu Ghannam's family rejected the Israeli account of the incident. One relative, Mohammed Abu Ghannam, said he did not believe the boy had been armed and that he had been on his way back from a friend's party when he was killed.

The family was refusing to receive the body, Mohammed Abu Ghannam said, because Israeli occupation authorities had ordered a limit on the number of people allowed at the burial -- a measure often imposed by Israel at the funerals of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Palestinian protesters faced off with Israeli riot police in occupied East Jerusalem later on Saturday, Samri said, adding that one policeman had been lightly injured.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office saying Abu Ghannam's killing emphasised "the ugliness of the occupation and its crimes against the defenceless Palestinian people under baseless and incorrect pretexts".

The Palestinians seek statehood in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But their peace talks with Israel have been stalled since last April.

Israel's assault on Gaza in the summer last year left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, with more than 12,000 injured. Over 70 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died in the Israeli offensive.

The 50-day offensive left over 100,000 Palestinians displaced, with about 57,000 living in communal shelters.

Israeli tanks fired at Gaza on Friday after Tel Aviv said a rocket had been fired from the besieged strip during Israeli "Independence Day celebrations" a day earlier. There were no casualties in those incidents.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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