Israeli occupation forces kill fourth Palestinian in less than 24 hours

AFP , Saturday 17 Sep 2016

Israeli occupation forces
File Photo: Israeli occupation forces kill fourth Palestinian in less than 24 hours (Photo: AP)

Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian who allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier Saturday in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, the army claimed, in the fourth spate of violence in less than 24 hours.

A military statement claimed the attacker drew a knife during a routine security check in Hebron's Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, wounding the soldier.

"In response to the immediate threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death," the statement said.

On Friday, three Palestinians were killed while allegedly carrying out attacks on Israelis, two in and around occupied Hebron and one in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Another man was killed on Thursday, also in Hebron, after allegedly trying to evade arrest by the Israeli military.

It was the latest incident in an almost one-year long surge of Israeli-on-Palestinian deadly repression met with violent responses by Palestinians against settlers and Israeli soldiers.

Since the start of October, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 228 Palestinians. Meanwhile, almost daily stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks by frustrated and unarmed Palestinians have killed 34 Israelis and a US citizen.

Settlement-building, racial discrimination, confiscation of identity cards, long queues at checkpoints, as well as daily clashes and the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque, describe Palestinians' daily suffering.

The anger of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem has increased in the last three years after the Israeli authorities allowed increasing numbers of Jewish settlers to storm the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The year-old surge in violence has been fuelled by Palestinians' frustration over Israel's 48-year occupation of land they seek for an independent state, and the expansion of settlements in those territories which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Palestinian leaders say a younger generation sees no hope for the future living under Israeli security restrictions and with a stifled economy. The latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in April 2014.

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian medical official said Friday that Israeli troops at the border fence east of Gaza City shot and slightly wounded three Palestinian youths.

An army spokeswoman said they had been rioting.

The uptick in violence was a reminder of persistent tensions that continue to alarm the international community and came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the two-state solution was "further than ever" from becoming reality.

International powers have criticised Israel's continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with more than 500,000 Israelis now living in communities the international community considers illegal, as well as incitement to violence by Palestinian leaders.

"Despite warnings by the international community and the region, leaders on both sides have failed to take the difficult steps needed for peace," Ban said on Friday.

"Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end," he added.

Ban also hailed former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the last of Israel's founding fathers who suffered a major stroke this week.

The veteran Israeli leader won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo peace accords.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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