Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank clashes

The mother of Mohammed Al-Jabari, 24, who was shot by Israeli forces during the clashes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, mourns after learning of his passing at a hospital in the divided West Bank town of Hebron. (AFP)
Updated 09 March 2018

Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank clashes

RAMALLAH: Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
It said Mohammed Al-Jabari, 24, was shot in the chest Friday and declared dead at a Hebron hospital.
An Israeli military spokesman said Palestinians hurled fire bombs at troops during a protest. It said forces shot an “instigator” holding a firebomb as he threw it at them. He added that the incident in the city of Hebron would be reviewed.
However, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said he had disabilities, without further details.
Clashes erupted across the West Bank and along Gaza’s border. At least a dozen protesters were injured.
Palestinians have staged regular protests, that often turn violent, since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.
US-led peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014 and a new push by President Donald Trump’s administration to restart negotiations has shown little progress so far.
Outraged Palestinian leaders said Washington could no longer take the lead in peace efforts but Israel has said the United States should remain peace-broker.
Trump’s announcement and the planned move in May of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — home to sites holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians — reversed decades of US policy on the city. Its status is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Israel says the entire city is its indivisible, and eternal capital.


Hezbollah says 2 Israeli drones downed in south Beirut

Updated 50 min 39 sec ago

Hezbollah says 2 Israeli drones downed in south Beirut

  • Israelii jets earlier attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus to pre-empt an alleged Iranian drone attack plot

BEIRUT: A Hezbollah official said Sunday that an Israeli drone went down over the Lebanese capital of Beirut and another exploded in the air, amid regional tensions between Israel and Iran.
Residents of the Iranian-backed group’s stronghold in southern Beirut reported one large explosion that shook the area early Sunday, triggering a fire. They said the nature of the blast in the Moawwad neighborhood was not immediately clear, but said it might have been caused by an Israeli drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighboring Syria.
They said they heard an aircraft flying just before the blast and reported later that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group sealed off the area. The blast occurred near the militant group’s media office in the Moawwad district.
The Hezbollah official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as the person was not authorized to speak on the record to journalists. No details were immediately available.
Israeli warplanes fly over Lebanon regularly and have struck inside neighboring Syria from Lebanese airspace on numerous occasions.
A few hours earlier, late Saturday, the Israeli military attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.
The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.
On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack by Israeli warplanes a “major operational effort.”
Syrian state TV said the country’s air defenses had responded to “hostile” targets over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.
In recent days, US officials have said that Israeli strikes have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.