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Israeli forces kill Palestinian amid uptick in violence

By AFP - Feb 08,2020 - Last updated at Feb 08,2020

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian during protests in the West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said, part of a spike in violence after Washington announced a controversial Middle East plan.

The fatality brings to five the number killed in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem since US President Donald Trump angered the Palestinians with his plan released last week.

The Palestinian health ministry said Badr Nafla, 19, died after being shot by Israeli forces in the neck during confrontations near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.

On Thursday two Palestinians were killed in protests in the West Bank and an Arab Israeli was shot dead near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Fourteen Israelis were injured in a car ramming targeting soldiers in Jerusalem the same day.

On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli troops during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli occupation forces had deployed additional forces on Friday in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where 25,000 Palestinians gathered at Al Aqsa for noon prayer that passed off without incident, an AFP photographer said.

The rise in violence comes a week after Trump’s release of his vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It would grant Israel a number of its long-held goals, including full control of occupied Jerusalem and a green light to annex all settlements and other parts of the West Bank.

In exchange the Palestinians would be offered a state in the remaining parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas immediately rejected the plan and called for street demonstrations.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and chief architect of the plan, said on Thursday that Abbas “does have a responsiblity” for the uptick in violence.

“He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw the plan,” Kushner told reporters after briefing UN Security Council members behind closed doors in New York.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Twitter on Friday that Kushner’s plan had “enabled Israel to move ahead with further annexation/colonisation.

“But he blames President Abbas because according to those like him, our mere existence and rights... are the problem,” Erekat added.

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