Monday, October 11, 2021

5 Palestinians killed in attacks on Israeli soldiers

The following story was originally published July 3, 2013:

Five Palestinians were killed Tuesday in at least five separate Palestinian-Israeli clashes during the past two days, the military said.

Masked Palestinians opened fire at Israeli soldiers near the Palestinian village of Burin north of Hebron, killing three Palestinians and wounding two soldiers, the military said.

Tuesday’s violence broke out after Palestinian rioters hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers near the city of Hebron. Soldiers then opened fire, killing two men and wounding four soldiers.

Tuesday was not the first time that Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in an area near the city. On June 26, a Palestinian protester who was throwing stones and burning tires toward the Israeli soldiers was shot and killed by a soldier near the same spot.

The shooting occurred as Palestinians were protesting for the second straight week in front of the base, demanding the return of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Palestinians while they were traveling through the West Bank nearly three years ago.

A West Bank security official told The Associated Press that Palestinians accused of the abduction of the soldiers had attacked soldiers near the site on Tuesday.

Six Palestinians were also arrested in the overnight raid, said the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

The violence comes at a time of renewed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks following President Donald Trump’s declaration that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has begun moving its embassy there. The Palestinians have previously rejected any Israeli attempt to block their independence.

Tuesday’s clashes near Hebron have posed the most recent challenge to prospects for peacemaking. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move that has not been internationally recognized.

Israel’s military has been stepping up military operations in areas around Jerusalem since Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement.

The West Bank has also been tense since June, following the arrests of hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails as part of a prison reform plan. Israel has been struggling to release the prisoners as part of its request to extend Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ four-year term in office by two years, ending elections in January 2018. The previous government was led by Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, and the Palestinian move upset relations between the sides.

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