Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Nablus: PA ministry

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Nablus: PA ministry
The Palestinian health ministry said a citizen was 'killed by the occupation [Israeli] bullets in Nablus', without elaborating on the identity of the deceased.
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Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank have escalated this year [Joel Carillet/Getty-file photo]

The Palestinian health ministry said a person was shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus before dawn on Thursday, as Palestinian fighters said they were confronting Israeli soldiers and settlers in the area.

"A citizen was killed by the occupation [Israeli] bullets in Nablus," a statement from the ministry said, without elaborating on the identity of the deceased and adding that three other injured had arrived at hospital.

At least four Palestinians sustained gunshot wounds and two were in serious condition, said the Palestinian Red Crescent in what it described as clashes with Israeli forces in the eastern part of Nablus, a northern West Bank city that has been a traditional centre of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

The Nablus battalion of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, said its members were "fighting the occupation forces and groups of settlers who had stormed the area of Joseph's Tomb", referring to a shrine in the city that has repeatedly been targeted by settlers.

Witnesses told AFP that the Israeli army was escorting a group of Israelis to a religious place when dozens of Palestinians set fire to tyres and threw explosive devices and stones at soldiers. The news agency identified the site as Joseph's Tomb.

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The military regularly escorts Israelis to the site, with Palestinians considering the incursions a provocation.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank has escalated this year, with increased army raids and settler rampages taking place.

Nablus, along with the city of Jenin, has been particularly heavily targeted by military raids.

Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, territories Israel illegally occupies.

US-sponsored statehood talks collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival while Israel has maintained military rule over millions of Palestinians and expanded West Bank settlements.

Settlements breach international law and are viewed as a key barrier to achieving a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel as they carve up Palestinian land.

(Reuters, AFP, The New Arab)