Israeli forces have shot and killed two Palestinians as they allegedly attempted to stab soldiers at a checkpoint between occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.
The troops fatally shot 23-year-old Maram Saleh Hassan Abu Ismail and her younger brother Ibrahim, 16, at the Qalandia military checkpoint between the central West Bank city of Ramallah and East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health.
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Speaking to Al Jazeera, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the pair were “armed with knives” and “came towards the border guards” to attack them.
After the incident, Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound grenades during clashes with Palestinian youth.
Since October 1, increased tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel have boiled over into violence.
Throughout that period, Israeli forces and illegal settlers have killed at least 209 Palestinians, including alleged attackers and protesters, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Meanwhile, at least 29 Israelis were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinians, says Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs.
Ramy Abdu, director of the Gaza-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, criticised the Palestinian government’s inaction after six months of escalated violence.
“In many incidents, they [Israeli soldiers] actually committed extrajudicial killings, particularly at checkpoints and military points,” he told Al Jazeera.
“People still believe that the Intifada should be escalated to the next level,” Abdu said. “But they are frustrated with the current situation, the international community and their own government over Israel’s systematic, structural violence.”
More than half a million Jewish Israelis already live in more than 150 Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, while Israeli military forces have erected several dozen checkpoints impeding Palestinians’ ability to move freely.
Several Palestinian political parties, including Hamas and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have blasted the PA’s security cooperation with Israeli forces throughout the ongoing uprising.
“The only way out of the current national impasse is if the PA showed political will to reconcile with its national partners and not with the Israeli occupation,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement on Tuesday.