Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in separate incidents
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in separate incidents across the occupied territories on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said, the latest deaths in a year-long surge in violence.
In the West Bank, the Israeli army said it shot a Palestinian man who tried to stab Israeli soldiers near the settlement of Kedumim.
In CCTV video the army said was of the attack, a man emerges from a car at a bus stop, apparently brandishing something in his hand. The footage shows the man running at the soldiers, before collapsing when they appear to shoot him.
The Islamist group Hamas identified the 20-year-old man, Aref Lahlouh, as a member.
Later on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said 17-year-old Mohammad Ali, who was shot by Israeli forces during clashes in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, succumbed to his wounds.
A statement from the Israel Police Spokesperson Unit said its forces fired at a suspect who was pointing at them with what looked like a firearm but was later found to be a dummy weapon.
Clashes in Shuafat camp erupted Wednesday when Israeli forces arrived to demolish the house of another Palestinian man, Uday al-Tamimi, who was accused of killing a female soldier at a checkpoint near the camp in October. Tamimi was shot dead by Israeli forces 11 days later, while attempting another attack near a West Bank settlement.
During the demolition, “a number of masked terrorists threw pipe bombs and molotov cocktails at police forces, who responded accordingly”, the police statement added.
Israel says such demolitions deter potential Palestinian assailants. Palestinians and rights groups condemn the policy as collective punishment.
Violence in the West Bank has escalated over the past year, following stepped-up raids by Israel in response to a spate of Palestinian street attacks in its cities. At least 20 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied territories since Jan. 1, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
There were no Israeli fatalities in Wednesday’s incidents.
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – areas the Palestinians want for a state – in the 1967 Middle East war. U.S.-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state collapsed in 2014.
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams and Henriette Chacar;Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Jonathan Oatis)