Israeli police have killed a Palestinian youth and critically wounded another at a West Bank checkpoint after an alleged stabbing attack, while many others were injured in West Bank and Gaza protests.
The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the death of Qasem Sabaana, 20, and the injury of the 17-year-old, as yet unnamed, at the checkpoint south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
The second Palestinian was shot in a main artery and is in a critical condition.
An Al Jazeera journalist who witnessed the scene said police fired at least seven shots on the Palestinian now fighting for his life in hospital.
Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 67 Palestinians – including unarmed protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers – across Israel, the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Nine Israelis have died in stabbing or shooting incidents in the same period.
Israeli police claimed that the two Palestinians they targeted on Friday had approached the checkpoint on a motorbike carrying knives.
Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker in Jerusalem said the city is heavily policed and Palestinians are monitored closely.
“Israeli security forces have clamped down on occupied East Jerusalem, it’s completely surrounded. People have to walk one by one, Palestinians often have to lift their shirts to show they are not carrying a weapon,” she said.
Outrage over the killings sparked Palestinian-led protests outside the Israeli settlement of Beit El, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Around 500 Palestinians protested and clashed with Israeli forces, according to witnesses.
Israeli troops shot at least one protester in the chest with live ammunition, said Mohannad Darabee, a photographer at the clashes.
“Medics told us he is in critical condition,” he told Al Jazeera, adding that an Israeli Jeep ran over another protester.
Orient Radio, a local media outlet, captured the soldiers running the protester over on video and published it on Facebook.
“When medics tried to help him and journalists approached the area, the soldiers attacked all of them with pepper spray and [tear] gas. Then they arrested the man [who was run over].
“People are angry about the martyr killed in Nablus. They [Israeli forces] are firing a lot of live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets – they are shooting indiscriminately,” Darabee said.
Ezz Zanoun, a Gaza-based photographer, said that clashes are also taking place in areas up and down Gaza’s border with Israel.
“Two journalists have been hit with rubber-coated steel bullets” near the Nahal Oz Israeli military outpost, he told Al Jazeera, referring to an area near eastern Gaza City. “There are at least 1,000 people here and they’re very angry.”
“The Israelis are using rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas,” he said. “Participation in the protests here in Gaza is growing.”
A day earlier, two Palestinians were shot and killed during alleged stabbing attacks on Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
Clashes between protesters and Israeli forces broke out after the incident in Hebron, where tension between Palestinians and Israeli settlers is high. About 20 Palestinians have been killed in the city this month after allegedly attacking Israelis – a narrative that in many incidents has been disputed by Palestinians.
Tension has surged amid resentment over Israeli settlements and the incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims.
Rights groups have slammed Israel for its harsh measures as it continues to crack down on Palestinians.
This week, Amnesty International warned Israeli forces to end its “pattern of unlawful killings”.
“In some cases Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures,” the group said.
“They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real.”
With additional reporting by Patrick Strickland: @P_Strickland_
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies