World

Israeli soldiers kill at least 10 Palestinians in West Bank

May 15, 2021
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians boiled over at the start of the week, fueled by controversy over planned evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and restrictions at a popular meeting point near the Old City as Ramadan began. — Courtesy file photo
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians boiled over at the start of the week, fueled by controversy over planned evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and restrictions at a popular meeting point near the Old City as Ramadan began. — Courtesy file photo

JERUSALEM — At least 10 Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli forces during violent clashes in towns and cities across the West Bank, the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry said in a statement, as sirens continued to blare all day across southern Israel, indicating another day of ceaseless rocket fire from Gaza.

The violence in the occupied West Bank marks the largest number of people killed in a single day there for years.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said Palestinians were targeted with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

Israel has continued this week a bombing operation the government says is targeting Palestinian fighters in Gaza, which has killed at least 126 people, including at least 31 children and 20 women, the Palestinian health ministry reported on Friday. At least 950 people, including at least 254 children, have sustained injuries as a result of Israeli airstrikes, the health ministry added.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 500 Palestinians have been injured since clashes erupted earlier this week. The majority of those injured on Friday was "shot by live ammunition," the health ministry added.

Palestinian demonstrators evacuate a wounded man during clashes with Israeli forces near the Jewish settlement of Beit El.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement live ammunition was used after "crowd dispersal means" (referring to tear gas and rubber-coated bullets) had failed to stop the unrest.

The IDF estimated about 5,000 people had been involved in what it called riots across the West Bank, with participants throwing stones and incendiary devices at soldiers and military positions.

Meanwhile, protesters say they will continue to demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinian families facing forced eviction in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. They will also support all those coming under Israeli bombardment in Gaza.

"We are doing this to show we stand with Gaza and our brothers in Jerusalem and (our brothers) inside Israel," one protester who refused to give his name said.

Inter-community violence

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians boiled over at the start of the week, fueled by controversy over planned evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and restrictions at a popular meeting point near the Old City as Ramadan began. It has since escalated rapidly into one of the worst rounds of violence between the two sides in the last several years.

Rioting and violent clashes between Arab and Jewish citizens swept across several Israeli cities this week — among them Lod, Bat Yam and Acre — leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn against "lynching" by either community.

Protests and demonstrations continued after Muslim Friday prayers at noon local time. Palestinian protesters also marched in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm, Jenin and Hebron early Friday morning, the Red Crescent said, in a continuation of weeks-long demonstrations.

One Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces close to the West Bank's Ofra settlement after trying to stab a soldier with a screwdriver at a checkpoint, the Israeli military said. The soldier was unharmed.

One Israeli woman died overnight Thursday into Friday after she fell as she was running to a shelter, the Israeli military said Friday, making her the eighth Israeli to die since the IDF and Palestinian militants began exchanging fire on Monday.

According to the IDF, more than 160 Israeli Air Force, infantry, artillery and armored units from 12 different squadrons attacked about 150 targets in underground infrastructure in northern Gaza overnight Thursday into Friday. — CNN


May 15, 2021
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