Two more Palestinian killed by Israeli troops

Updated 27 December 2015

Two more Palestinian killed by Israeli troops

NABLUS: Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank on Sunday after being accused of stabbing and wounding a Jewish soldier.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said those killed by Israel were Mohammed Sabaaneh, aged 17, and Nur Eddine Sabaaneh, 23, from Qabatia near Jenin in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The incident, in Huwara in the northern West Bank, was the second of the day. Earlier a Palestinian stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier in Jerusalem before he was arrested.
A wave of violence since the start of October has claimed the lives of 135 people on the Palestinian side, 19 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.
Many of the Palestinians killed have been attackers while others have been shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes.
Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, used his traditional Christmas Day address to urge Israelis and Palestinians to resume “direct dialogue,” saying the conflict had “serious repercussions” on the Middle East.


US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

Updated 32 min 34 sec ago

US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

  • The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians
  • The move is the latest by the Trump administration seen as favoring the Israeli position over the Palestinians

WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians who say the settlements are the main barrier to their future state.

The shift in US policy follows the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem last year, a move seen as undermining Palestinian claims to the eastern half of the city as a future capital.

Pompeo said US statements about the settlements on the West Bank - which Israel captured during a 1967 war - had been inconsistent, saying Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1978 found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981 said he did not view them as inherently illegal.

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, drawing criticism from a senior Palestinian figure even before his announcement.

“Another blow to international law, justice & peace,” Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said on Twitter ahead of Pompeo’s statement.

The announcement marked the third major instance in which the Trump administration has sided with Israel and against stances taken by the Palestinians and Arab states even before unveiling its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

In 2017 Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel before opening the embassy in the city. US policy had previously been that the status of Jerusalem was to be decided by the parties to the conflict.

In March, Trump recognized Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in a boost for Netanyahu that prompted a sharp response from Syria, which once held the strategic land.

Trump's move might have been designed to help Netanyahu as he struggles to stay in power. Israeli politics is deadlocked after two inconclusive elections this year. Former military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party emerged neck and neck with Netanyahu following a September vote, and both leaders have struggled to put together a ruling coalition.

*With Reuters