West Bank and Gaza gripped by fresh violence

Five Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Palestinian territories, while settler dies of wounds in ramming attack.

    West Bank and Gaza gripped by fresh violence
    Rights groups have decried Israeli measures as the government continues to crack down on Palestinians [AP]

    At least five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, while an Israeli settler died of his wound in a ramming attack.

    The fresh unrest on Tuesday brings the death toll to 50 Palestinians and nine Israelis.

    Two Palestinians were shot dead on Tuesday evening by Israeli fire in the city of Hebron in the West Bank after they allegedly launched a stabbing attack against soldiers. One Israeli soldier was reportedly injured.

    Inside Story: What's fuelling the recent wave of attacks in Israel?

    Palestinian media said the pair were teenagers from the same family. It remained difficult for the Palestinian Red Crescent to reach the scene of the reported incident near the Ibrahimi Mosque to retreive the bodies due to the restrictions imposed on Palestinians at Israeli-manned checkpoints.

    Earlier on Tuesday, A Palestinian man identified as 24-year-old Adi Hashem Masalmeh was killed by Israeli forces near the city of Hebron in the West Bank after he allegedly tried to stab an Israeli soldier.

    Israeli fire on Tuesday also killed 27-year-old Ahmed al-Serhi during clashes in the Gaza Strip border with Israel, Gaza medics said, in the latest unrest to erupt in the coastal enclave.

    Elsewhere, Hamzeh Mousa Al-Amleh was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly rammed his car into two people in Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem, lightly injuring both of them.

    In a separate incident on Tuesday, an Israeli settler died hours after he was reportedly run over by a Palestinian man near Hebron. Witnesses said the settler was attacking cars in the area before he was hit by one of the vehicles.

    Meanwhile, violent clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at a rally in Beit El near Ramallah, where Israeli forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

    Triggered by Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last month, violence and protests against Israel's occupation have increased in frequency across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

    Hamas leader arrested

    On Monday night, Israeli security forces arrested Hassan Yusef, one of Hamas' top figures in the West Bank, in an overnight raid near Ramallah.

    "During the night, forces of the army and the Shin Bet [internal security service] arrested Hassan Yusef, a Hamas leader, in Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah," an army statement said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera from the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesman Ghazi al-Hamad said Yusef's arrest was "part of Israel's oppression of Palestinians".

    "It's designed to keep Palestinians from resisting its occupation. The Israeli government is trying to pressure Hamas and other Palestinians in an effort to end the Intifada in Palestine," Hamad said.

    Yusef has been arrested by the Israeli authorities several times, starting from 1993, and became the visible leader of the second Intifada which started in 2000.

    In 2005, he was nominated to represent Hamas during the elections as an absentee candidate as he was in jail.

    Rights groups have decried Israeli measures as the government continues to crack down on Palestinians.

    In one week, Israeli police arrested more than 100 demonstrators and activists during protests in Palestinian areas, according to Adalah, a Haifa-based legal centre for Palestinians in Israel.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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