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.


Iran ‘never seeks war’ with US: Rouhani

Updated 4 min 30 sec ago
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Iran ‘never seeks war’ with US: Rouhani

  • ‘Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US’

TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani said Iran “never seeks war” with the US, state media reported Wednesday amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.

“Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US,” the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Rouhani was speaking by phone to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as Tehran and Washington engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran shooting down a US drone last week.

“We have always been committed to regional peace and stability and will make efforts in this respect,” the Iranian president told Macron.

US President Donald Trump said he pulled back from retaliatory strikes on Iran at the last minute, rejecting Tehran’s claim that the aircraft was in its airspace.

But pressure mounted this week with Trump announcing sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader and top officials.

The new measures are the latest against Tehran since Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.

Rouhani blamed the United States for regional tensions Wednesday and said if Washington had stuck to the deal “we would have witnessed positive developments in the region.”

Iran announced in May it would suspend two of its pledges under the 2015 deal, giving the agreement’s remaining supporters two months to help it circumvent US sanctions.

On Tuesday Tehran’s top security official said Iran would “forcefully” reduce further commitments from July 7.