Israeli forces kill three Palestinians as West Bank tensions spike

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians as West Bank tensions spike
Israel shot dead two Palestinians in Jenin, including a police officer, and killed a gunman in Jerusalem as tensions spike a week following the announcement of Trump's 'peace plan'.
3 min read
06 February, 2020
Israeli soldiers pictured during a raid in Bethlehem on Thursday. [Getty]

Israeli forces killed three Palestinians on Thursday while a dozen Israeli soldiers were injured in a car-ramming attack as violence spiked across the West Bank and Jerusalem, a week after Donald Trump's controversial peace plan was released.

Palestinian hospital officials said a 19-year-old identified as Yazan Abu Tabikh was killed in clashes in the West Bank city of Jenin overnight, while six others were wounded.

Mourners filled the streets of Jenin on Thursday for his funeral.

He was killed in clashes that erupted after Israeli forces carried out the demolition of a home belonging to an alleged militant involved in deadly attacks against Israel.

In a separate incident in Jenin, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a member of the Palestinian Authority [PA] security forces.

Video footage shows the officer standing in the doorway of a police station in the northern West Bank city before being shot and collapsing to the ground.

The PA's ministry of health identified him as 25-year-old Tareq Ahmad Badwan, a first lieutenant in the Palestinian police force.

Hours earlier, on Wednesday, a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot and killed during demonstrations in Hebron. His death was the first since US President Donald Trump's peace plan was unveiled last week.

Jerusalem violence

In the first Jerusalem incident, a Palestinian motorist rammed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers walking through a popular entertainment district early on Thursday, injuring 14.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to have the assailant apprehended. "It's just a matter of time - and not much time," he said in a statement.

The attack was praised by Hamas as a "practical response" to US President Donald Trump's controversial peace plan, while Islamic Jihad also called the incident the "beginning of a new confrontation over Trump's plan".

Later on Thursday, Israeli police said they shot and killed a Palestinian who opened fire at forces in Jerusalem's Old City, lightly wounding an officer.

Such acts of violence were common in Jerusalem during a low-level wave of near-daily attacks over the last decade, but they have since tapered off. Car rammings have also become infrequent in recent years.

Also Thursday, Israel struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip after three mortar shells were fired at Israel. There was no immediate report of injuries on either side.

Unveiled last week at the White House with much fanfare, Trump's peace plan envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel.

Read more: Kushner recommends 'foolish' Palestinians take 'cold shower' before rejecting sham peace plan

It sides with Israel on key contentious issues that have bedevilled past peace efforts. These include the borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and West Bank Israeli settlements.

The "Deal of the Century" was greeted ecstatically in Israel, with Netanyahu vowing to speed ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank.

Palestinians officials dismissed the plan as "nonsense" and have promised to resist it.

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