Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Palestinians killed in West Bank amid protests against Gaza assault |

4 Palestinians killed in West Bank amid protests against Gaza assault | Maan News Agency

Published today (updated) 25/07/2014 16:49
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Four Palestinians were killed in the West Bank on Friday, three by Israeli forces and one by an Israeli settler, amid widespread protests in solidarity with Gaza.

The four deaths on Friday come after a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces late Thursday in clashes at Qalandia, bringing the total death toll in the West Bank to eight as thousands have marched in protest against the Israeli assault on Gaza over the last two weeks.

The victims were identified as Khaled Azmi Khaled Yousef, 18, Hashem Abu Maria, 47, Tayeb Abu Shehada, 22, and Sultan Al-Zaaqiq, 30.

Yousef was killed and three were injured on Friday when an Israeli settler opened fire at a protest march near Nablus, an official said.

In the village of Huwwara, Palestinians began marching in protest against Israel's deadly offensive in Gaza when an Israeli settler drove by in a car and fired into the crowd, the mayor of the village said.

Khalid Mari Khalid Yousef, 18, died after being hit directly in the chest, a Ma'an reporter said, after Fatah spokesman Awwad Nijm said earlier that Yousef was critically injured.

Israeli forces who subsequently arrived on the scene got involved in the clashes, killing another Palestinian named Tayeb Abu Shehada, 22.

Nijm identified the other three injured as Tariq Issam, Muhammad Nasasrah, and Jihad Odeh.

Twenty Palestinians suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, he added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that "approximately 200 Palestinians gathered in the area and a riot erupted" as they "were hurling rocks."

Although she was familiar with the report of an Israeli settler opening fire, she said that the police and border police were responsible in the area. However, spokesmen for both the police and the border police did not comment on whether any Palestinians had been killed.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that a settler in Huwarra fired "in the air" after Palestinians threw stones at her car.

In Beit Ummar, Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in protest of Israel's assault on Gaza.

Hashem Abu Maria, 47, was shot in the chest by Israeli forces and died soon after.

Sultan al-Zaaqiq, 30, was also slain by Israeli forces during the clashes.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.

Khaled Azmi Khaled Yousef

Marches across West Bank

The incidents came as other Palestinians across the West Bank protested in solidarity with Gaza.

Clashes were also ongoing in Tuqu near Bethlehem and in front of the Beit El settlement near Ramallah.

In the Beit El clashes, five Palestinians were reported injured with live bullets.

Palestinians staged one of the largest protests the West Bank has seen in years near Ramallah late Thursday, as over 20,000 marched in solidarity with Gaza toward Israel's Qalandia checkpoint.

A Palestinian was killed in the clashes and another was declared "clinically dead" after being hit by Israeli fire. Over 100 were injured with live fire.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in a statement Friday that the ongoing West Bank protests were a "natural extension of the brave Palestinians' resistance in the Gaza Strip."

The faction called for the marches to continue.