West Bank Palestinians die in fresh clashes

Five killed near Hebron and Nablus on Friday as worst spate of West Bank protests in years continues for second day.

    West Bank Palestinians die in fresh clashes
    Israeli policemen arrest a Palestinian during clashes following Friday prayers in East Jerusalem [AFP]

    Five Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, a day after mass protests over Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip which has killed more than 840 people.

    In the first shooting on Friday in Hawara, near Nablus, an Israeli settler shot dead an 18-year-old and injured three other Palestinians, sources told Al Jazeera. Two hours later at the same protest Israeli soldiers open fire, killing a 22-year-old.

    Three other Palestinians were shot dead as Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in Beit Ummar, near Hebron. One of those killed reportely worked for the Defence for Children International charity.

    An Israeli army spokeswoman had no comment on the incident in Beit Ummar, but said there had been "confrontations" between Israeli troops and Palestinians near Nablus "in which settlers were involved".

    Israeli army radio reported that a woman settler opened fire in in the incident near Nablus.

    Protests were also reported in East Jerusalem after Friday prayer.

    "We are with the resistance [in Gaza], and this is our way of resisting," said Samir Natsheh, one of the worshippers praying on the street near Al-Aqsa mosque.

    "The same Israeli government that is carrying out this aggression in Gaza is taking away our right to pray."

    There were brief scuffles in Wadi al-Joz, an area north of the Old City.

    Meanwhile, the Israeli army has confirmed that a 35th soldier was killed in Gaza on Friday. This brings the total Israeli death toll to 38, including three civilians.

    The protests against Israeli offensive on Friday came a day after two Palestinians were killed in mass protests in the occupied West Bank. The funeral for one, Mohammad Al Araj, 17, was held in Qalandia refugee camp.

    The Palestinian Liberation Organisation on Friday called for Palestinians to take to the streets to express their rage at the invasion of Gaza, calling it a "genocide", and to offer a funeral prayer to those who had been killed on Thursday.

    Palestinian activists and Israel media said the Thursday protests appeared to be the largest since the end of a 2000-2005 Palestinian uprising.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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