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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Three Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli troops

Israeli security forces at the scene of an alleged attack at a checkpoint near Hebron (AP)
Israeli security forces at the scene of an alleged attack at a checkpoint near Hebron (AP)

The brother of a Palestinian teenager who died in unclear circumstances in October is among three more Palestinians killed by Israeli fire, authorities said.

The bloodshed is the latest in almost three months of near-daily Palestinian attacks on Israelis and other Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Oday Ersheid, 22, was killed by live fire in Hebron. His sister Dania died in October in a case cited by Amnesty International as a possible extrajudicial killing.

The Israeli army said Mr Ersheid died during a riot in which hundreds of Palestinians attacked forces by hurling stones and firebombs and rolling burning tyres toward troops. The military said forces tried to disperse the riot with non-lethal means before firing "towards inciting characters".

"I say to all the people, don't cry," Jihad Ersheid told local media after identifying his son's body. "Pray, fast, and instead of crying, cry over our situation. The martyr is with God."

Hundreds of mourners gathered to bury Mr Ersheid next to his sister, who was killed in October after Israeli police said the 17-year-old pulled out a knife and screamed at Israeli troops, who opened fire. Amnesty, citing unidentified witnesses, said she was shot as she raised her hands during a security check, yelling at border police that she did not have a knife.

Troops have also shot and killed a Palestinian man who attempted to ram his car into Israeli security forces near Hebron. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the man as Issa Hroub, 55, from the nearby village of Deir Samet. There were no Israeli injuries and the military did not specify how close the driver came to the troops.

A third Palestinian died in clashes with Israeli troops on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, according to Gaza health officials. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the casualty as Sami Madi, in his 30s. The army did not provide further details.

Earlier, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint before he was wounded and fled the scene, according to the Israeli defence ministry. There were no Israelis injured in the attack at the Gilboa crossing near Jenin, according to ministry spokeswoman Arielle Heffez. She said Israeli forces were searching for the suspect who fled in a van.

In the central West Bank, Israel arrested a Palestinian suspected of ramming his vehicle into a group of soldiers the previous day near the settlement of Beit Arieh. The military identified the suspect as Mahmad Abd El Halim Abd El Hamid Salam.

The Shin Bet intelligence agency said Salam is a member of Hamas from the West Bank village of Luban and that he admitted to carrying out the attack.

Since mid-September, Palestinians have killed 19 Israelis. At least 112 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, 75 of them said by Israel to be attackers while the others died in clashes with security forces.

Israel blames incitement by political and religious leaders for the violence. Palestinians say the attacks stem from despair at achieving statehood.

Press Association

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