Violence continues between Israel, Palestinians

RAMALLAH — Violent tensions continue between Israel and the Palestinians which left two Palestinians killed Thursday in separate incidents in southern West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian authorities said.

Earlier Thursday morning, Mohamed Awawdeh, an official at the Palestinian health ministry, confirmed to Xinhua that the Israeli military shot and killed a Palestinian who allegedly stabbed a soldier in the West Bank.

Israeli police spokeswoman said the incident occurred near the Tomb of Patriarchs, a holy site to both Muslims and Jews.

“After the young man was killed, the Israeli army held his body and refused to hand it over to his family,” said Awawdeh, adding that the Israeli army is still holding the bodies of 20 Palestinians since early October, most of them from Hebron.

Later Thursday afternoon, Awawdeh said that another Palestinian young man was shot dead by Israeli troops in Hebron.

His identity is still unknown and the body was left laid on the ground, the official added.

While tensions on the ground is still flaring, various Palestinian factions, including Islamic Hamas movement, are calling for another day of rage on Friday against Israel.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders are also waging international diplomatic battles to seek protection for the Palestinian people.

Palestinian foreign ministry on Thursday accused the Israeli government for practicing “organized terrorism” against the Palestinian people.

“The right-wing party leaders and extreme right-wing figures in the Israeli government are competing on inventing new methods of repressing and harassing the Palestinians,” it said in a statement.

“The latest was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to establish a civil court to speed up collective punishment and issue orders of administrative detention, houses demolitions and residency withdrawal,” added the statement.

The Palestinian foreign ministry considered these measures “a clear barbarian aggression practiced by the Israeli occupation against our people,” and called for the international community to urge Israel to stop these crimes.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, the death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli police and military since early October has climbed to 68.

More than 2,000 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces.

The latest wave of violence started last month in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound and spread throughout Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In recent days, Hebron, a city where some 1,000 Jewish settlers live under heavy military guard among tens of thousands of Palestinians, became the main hotspot of violence, with knife attacks and almost daily clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces.

The wave of violence has resulted in the death of 11 Israelis, who died mainly in knife attacks, according to officials. PNA/Xinhua