Palestinians in Nablus hold strike over Israeli forces' killings
Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus held a strike on Sunday over the killing of three Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces earlier in the same day.
Shops remained closed on Sunday after Israeli forces had fired on a vehicle with Palestinian men inside near the Surra military checkpoint, west of Nablus.
The Palestinian health ministry said that three Palestinians, including an 18-year-old, were killed in the attack. It said their bodies were detained by Israeli forces.
One Palestinian man, identified as Ibrahim al-Awartani, was arrested during the attack, a source told The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The Palestinian health ministry said Sunday's killings bring up the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since January to 84.
The coordinator of a national campaign to recover Palestinian bodies held by Israel, Hussein Shujaia, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the number of Palestinian bodies withheld by occupation forces since 2015 has now risen to 133, including 19 detained since January.
The Fatah movement condemned the attack, which it said was an attempt by the Israeli government to escalate the situation, according to a statement cited by Palestinian news agency Wafa.
"The so-called policy of 'mawing the grass' practiced by the occupation forces will not intimidate our people," the statement said, using a phrase commonly expressed by Israelis referring to Palestinians as "weed" that needs to be cut back.
The head of the Palestinian National Council, Ruhi Fattouh said that the Israeli government must be held accountable for the killing of the Palestinian men.
"The occupation forces erect death barriers at entrances to Palestinian towns to kill citizens in cold blood under false allegations to justify their daily field executions," Fattouh said in a statement carried by WAFA.
Fattouh said that the repeated executions at military checkpoints was a clear indication that the occupation forces "have explicit instructions to kill" from the Israeli government.
Violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has worsened since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to office in December in a governing coalition with ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right allies.
Rights groups have frequently urged authorities in Tel Aviv to stop the "unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces", saying they amounted to "extrajudicial executions".