Leaders bicker as rage sweeps Palestinian territories

Leaders bicker as rage sweeps Palestinian territories
Palestinian shot dead by Israeli army in the West Bank as tension continues to rise.
3 min read
11 November, 2014
Thousands of Palestinians commemorated Yasser Arafat's death [Getty]
A 22-year-old man was shot dead by the Israeli army during clashes at al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, on Tuesday, as Palestinians continue to vent anger at perceived Israeli violations of their rights.

Muhammad Jawabreh was shot in the chest during a demonstration near Kiryat Arba, an illegal Israeli settlement near Hebron.

Israeli military spokesperson said "a violent riot of 200 Palestinians" had been taking place. Israel subsequently increased its military and police presence across the occupied West Bank.

The move came in anticipation of heightened unrest, after an Israeli soldier and a settler were killed on Monday in two separate knife attacks. Daily demonstrations continue to unsettle Jerusalem and Palestinian towns inside Israel.   

News of Jawabreh's death came as the Israeli army announced it would deploy an extra two battalions to the West Bank. An additional unit will also be put on operational duty and to focus on protecting settlers travelling in the occupied territory.

Thousands of police were deployed at potential flashpoints as Palestinians held low-key ceremonies to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, who died in mysterious circumstances in a Paris hospital.

The attacks followed months of clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in occupied east Jerusalem, after the kidnapping and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdier and continued Israeli violations of al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Demonstrations have also spread throughout the Palestinian community in Israel after a video emerged which purported to show an Israeli police officer shooting dead a 22-year-old Palestinian man from the town of Kfar Kana in the Galilee area.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli troops shot and seriously injured a young Palestinian man near the southern West Bank town of Khursa, Palestinian media reported.

'Sectarian and partisan'

Palestinian President Mahmuod Abbas on Tuesday accused Hamas of trying to destroy efforts to broker national unity. A series of bomb blasts
in Hamas-controlled Gaza last week targeted Fatah leaders, prompting the cancellation of a memorial service for Arafat, the Fatah founder.

        What the Palestinian people need is a courageous president.
- Mushir al-Masri, Hamas

Hamas denounced Abbas' accusations as "sectarian and partisan".

"Abbas' speech is web of lies, insults and disinformation," said Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.

"What the Palestinian people need is a courageous president."

Abbas also reaffirmed his plans to submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council later this month calling for Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to end by November 2016.
"We will not tolerate any pressure," he said, referring to US efforts to dissuade the Palestinians' bid.

Abbas also addressed the clashes which have gripped occupied East Jerusalem since July and spoke about the unrest at al-Aqsa mosque, which has been triggered by attempts by ultranationalist Israelis to enter the site.

The Palestinians "will defend al-Aqsa and the churches against the settlers and extremists", he pledged.

Earlier this year, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement aimed at ending seven years of bitter - and sometimes bloody - rivalry which saw the West Bank and Gaza ruled by separate administrations.

The deal led to the creation of a "government of national consensus" which took office in Ramallah, but has yet to fully exert its powers in Gaza, Hamas' stronghold.