Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in West Bank

Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank (File/AFP)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in West Bank

  • Shots fired at suspect's vehicle, no injury to officers
  • Israeli forces on high alert in Hebron

HEBRON, Palestinian Territories: A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces on Tuesday near the flashpoint city of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said.
Palestinian official news agency Wafa identified the dead man as Omar Awwad, 27, and said he was shot by Israeli forces near Hebron.
The health ministry confirmed he had died after being taken to hospital.
Israeli police said a man was shot after his car “drove toward border police” at a checkpoint.
“Shots were fired at the suspect vehicle. No injuries to officers,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement, adding that the incident was under investigation.
Police later said the Israeli forces had approached Awwad’s village Idna to take action against illegal copper smelting.
“A Palestinian car driven by the suspect tried to escape the security forces, the car hit the supervisor’s car and headed toward a border police officer who was securing the event,” a statement said.
“The officer fired at the car, hitting the man suspected of attempting to run him over,” it added, confirming the driver had died.
In a separate incident in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian car drove toward Israeli security forces involved in enforcing construction laws.
Border policemen fired in the air and apprehended the driver, a 30-year-old resident of the village of Jiftlik.
Israeli forces in the West Bank have been on high alert since Sunday evening, when seven Israelis were wounded in a shooting at the entrance to a West Bank settlement.
A woman and her prematurely delivered baby were still in serious condition on Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman told AFP.
“I wish a swift recovery to all those wounded,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday at a ceremony marking the opening of a new road junction in the West Bank.
“We will chase down the perpetrators and settle the account with them.”
Netanyahu said that the Palestinian attacks were aimed at scaring Israelis into leaving the West Bank.
“We will prove to them that their will to uproot us from our land will be met with a fortified wall,” he said. “As long as I’m prime minister of Israel, no Jew will be uprooted from his home.”
There have been sporadic Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the West Bank in recent month.
On November 26, a Palestinian rammed a car into Israeli soldiers, injuring three of them. The driver was later killed by Israeli forces.


Boat with migrants rescued off Libya looks for port to dock

Updated 20 January 2019
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Boat with migrants rescued off Libya looks for port to dock

  • Sea-Watch 3 asked where it can bring the 47 migrants it had taken aboard

ROME: A private rescue boat with dozens of migrants aboard sought permission for a second day to enter a safe port Sunday, but said so far its queries to several nations haven’t succeeded. Another vessel crowded with migrants and taking on water, meanwhile, put out an urgent, separate appeal for help in the southern Mediterranean.
Sea-Watch 3, run by a German NGO, said Sunday it has contacted Italy, Malta, Libya as well as the Netherlands, since the boat is Dutch-flagged, asking where it can bring the 47 migrants it had taken aboard. Sea-Watch tweeted that Libyan officials had hung up when it asked for a port assignment.
An Italian state TV reporter aboard Sea-Watch 3 said the rescue took place Saturday about 50 kilometers (30 miles) off the coast west of Tripoli in Libya’s search-and-rescue area. Libya-based human traffickers launch flimsy or rickety boats, crowded with migrants hoping to reach Europe and its opportunities for better lives.
Separately, Sea-Watch tweeted Sunday afternoon that it had been urgently contacted by a boat with 100 migrants aboard that said it was taking on water, 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) from the current location at sea of Sea-Watch 3.
The distressed vessel reported navigational problems and had among the migrants a child “unconscious or deceased,” Sea-Watch said. Subsequent communication said the boat was “taking in water” and asked Sea-Watch to call for help, “regardless of what this would mean concerning a possible return to Libya,” Sea-Watch said.
The aid group later said Malta on the phone confirmed “that they will come back to us” regarding the distress call, but it wasn’t immediately clear what kind of assistance the Maltese might give.
Migrants dread the prospect of being returned to Libya, where they have reported torture including beatings and rapes in overcrowded detention centers.
The governments of Malta and Italy have been refusing to allow private rescue boats rescuing migrants to dock. Both contend that in recent years they have taken in many migrants rescued at sea and that fellow European Union nations must agree to take their share of these asylum-seekers.
Earlier this month, Malta transferred to land 49 migrants who had been aboard Sea-Watch 3 as long as 19 days but refused the boat port entry. They were allowed to set foot on the southern Mediterranean island only after an EU-brokered deal found several countries willing to take them as well as other migrants, who had been rescued at sea earlier in separate operations by Malta.