Palestinian boy said killed in latest West Bank clashes
IDF says it is probing the death, the second in 24 hours; police on alert as Sukkot comes to an end; Germany warns of ‘new intifada’
A 13-year-old Palestinian was killed Monday afternoon during a clash between protesters and Israeli security forces in the Aida refugee camp near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Palestinian sources said.
Abdel Rahman Abdullah was hit by a gunshot in the chest, Palestinian medical sources said. He died in hospital shortly afterwards.
The IDF said it was aware of the boy being hit and was looking into the details of the incident. It said troops were attacked by Palestinian stone throwers in a violent demonstration. A second Palestinian was reported moderately injured in the same clash.
Rahman Abdullah was the second Palestinian teenager killed by troops over the past 24 hours. A funeral was held earlier in the day for an 18-year-old Palestinian who was killed in overnight clashes in Tulkarem during a violent riot.
Palestinian demonstrators near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem threw pipe bombs at IDF and Border Police forces on Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported. There were no injuries. Some 300 hundred people were protesting close to the Jewish holy site, which is situated inside a Muslim cemetery.
Police were on high alert Monday afternoon ahead of evening events closing out the Sukkot holiday, Channel 2 reported, with thousands expected to visit the Western Wall and violence still plaguing the city.
Rioting was reported throughout the morning in the Hebron and Ramallah regions of the West Bank. Dozens of Palestinians were reportedly hurt from inhaling tear gas while clashing with security forces in several locations around those cities. Protesters hurled rocks at the troops, though there were no reported Israeli injuries.
In Jerusalem, two Palestinians were arrested after assailing policemen and Border Policemen in the Old City. The two were taken in for questioning. A 17-year-old Palestinian was also arrested in the capital on suspicion of involvement in riots on and around the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
A man was lightly wounded when stones were thrown at him on the Armon Hanatziv promenade in southern Jerusalem, the Hebrew-language website Maariv reported Monday afternoon. One person was arrested and security forces were searching for more suspects.
In East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths tried to block a junction in the Shuafat neighborhood, and threw stones at Border Police and police forces, Israel’s Walla website reported on Monday afternoon. Security forces used riot dispersal measures to break up the protests, Walla said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to hold another security cabinet meeting Monday evening to receive an update on the situation on the ground, and decide on further actions to combat the violence. Ministers may authorize a widening of administrative detentions — arrest without trial — as well as push for the demolition of terrorists’ homes and the boosting of security forces in flashpoint areas.
Netanyahu has partly blamed Abbas for inciting the escalated hostilities, which have seen four Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists in the past four days. Abbas has alleged — including in a speech to the UN last Wednesday — that Israel is allowing “extremists” into Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and that Israel plans to change the status quo regarding access to the contested holy site. Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected these claims.
Thousands of Israelis were expected to protest outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem on Monday evening, against what they believe is insufficient government action in the face of rising terrorism. Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since Thursday.
Germany voiced concern Monday about the risk of a “new intifada,” three days ahead of Netanyahu’s visit to Berlin.
“What possibly awaits us here is something like a new intifada,” said foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer. “That can’t be in anyone’s interest — it can’t be something anyone in Israel wants, or which any responsible Palestinian politician wants.
“That’s why it is… so important to search for ways and means to resume talks in order to reach a permanent solution.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the UN to provide international protection to the Palestinians in the face of escalating violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
According to a report in the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Abbas spoke by phone on Sunday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and urged him to act to stop what he called Israeli provocations, “before things get out of control.”
The UN chief said Sunday he was “deeply concerned” by recent regional events and urged both sides to “condemn violence and incitement, maintain calm and to do everything they can to avoid further escalation.”
An adviser to Abbas said Monday that Palestinian leadership was not interested in a third intifada, and blamed Israel and Hamas for stoking the fires, Israel Radio reported.
Nimar Hamad told a Palestinian news website that Hamas was working to foment violence and undermine the PA leadership in the West Bank, while Jerusalem was interested in portraying Ramallah leadership as warmongering.
An official statement from the PA chief’s office Monday claimed that “the Israeli side and its government have an interest in dragging things into a cycle of violence and are trying through escalation at al-Aqsa and settler attacks to escape their political impasse and international isolation.”
The Red Crescent said Monday that 456 Palestinians had been wounded within the past 24 hours in various confrontations with Israeli security forces, Israel Radio reported. The Palestinian medical organization added that 36 of the wounded suffered injuries from live ammunition, while 136 were hit by rubber pellets. Many others suffered the effects of inhaling tear gas. Israel did not confirm the figures.
Meanwhile, Jews pelted several Palestinian vehicles with rocks in the northern Jerusalem, close to the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. There were no reported injuries. A Jewish resident of Ramat Shlomo was arrested on suspicion of involvement.
Israeli military forces on Sunday night raided the West Bank home of the Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and killed two Israelis on Saturday, Israel Radio reported, quoting Palestinian sources.
According to the report, it was the second time in the past day that troops swept through the village of Sudra, near Ramallah, the home of 19-year-old Muhannad Halabi who murdered Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita in Jerusalem’s Old City. Halabi himself was shot dead by security forces at the scene of the attack.
Also, Israeli police said Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs in mostly Arab areas of Jerusalem overnight.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli jets bombed a Hamas target early Monday morning after a Palestinian terror group launched a rocket into southern Israel.
Palestinian media in Gaza reported Israeli strikes shortly after 2:30 a.m., a matter of hours after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip Sunday night landed in open territory in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel, causing neither injury or damage.
AP contributed to this report.