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.


Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

Syrian children are pictured at a refugee camp in the village of Mhammara in the northern Lebanese Akkar region on March 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 4 min 41 sec ago
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Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

  • Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon
  • Jan Kubis: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible

BEIRUT: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about reports that Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon face torture and murder.

This coincides with a debate in Lebanon about whether Syrian refugees should return without waiting for a political solution to the conflict in their country. 

UN Special Coordinator Jan Kubis stressed after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday the “urgent need to ensure the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees home, according to international humanitarian norms.” 

Kubis added: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible. Another very important message was also to support the host communities here in Lebanon.”

Mireille Girard, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Monday said: “The reconstruction process in Syria may not be enough to attract refugees to return. We are working to identify the reasons that will help them to return.”

She added: “The arrival of aid to the refugees is an element of trust that helps them to return. Their dignity and peaceful living must be ensured.”

Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumdjian said the Lebanese General Security “issued lists containing the names of refugees wishing to return to their homes, but the Syrian regime accepted only about 20 percent of them.”

He added: “The solution is to call on the international community to put pressure on Russia, so that Moscow can exert pressure on (Syrian President) Bashar Assad’s regime to show goodwill and invite Syrian refugees to return to their land without conditions, procedures, obstacles and laws that steal property and land from them.”

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb said: “The problem is not reconstruction and infrastructure, nor the economic and social situation. The main obstacle is the climate of fear and injustice in Syria.”

He added: “There are 215,000 Syrian students enrolled in public education in Lebanon, 60,000 in private education, and there are informal education programs for those who have not yet attended school to accommodate all children under the age of 18.” 

Chehayeb said: “As long as the displacement crisis continues, and as long as the (Assad) regime’s decision to prevent the (refugees’) return stands … work must continue to absorb the children of displaced Syrians who are outside education to protect Lebanon today and Syria in the future.”