Israeli soldiers kill unarmed Palestinian in West Bank

Tensions have recently heightened in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
Updated 21 March 2019

Israeli soldiers kill unarmed Palestinian in West Bank

  • Jordan’s king vows to keep protecting holy sites in Jerusalem, calling it ‘red line’ for his country
  • The official said Israeli troops in the adjacent village of Al-Khader fired at a car and wounded the driver the previous night

RAMALLAH, West Bank: The governor of the West Bank city of Bethlehem said on Thursday that Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man who was trying to aid another near the city.

Gov. Kamel Hmeid said Israeli troops in the adjacent village of Al-Khader fired at a car and wounded the driver late on Wednesday night. 

He said Ahmad Manasra was in the car behind and got out of his vehicle to help the wounded man, who was shot in the abdomen. As Manasra was returning to his car, the Israeli soldiers shot and killed him, he said.

“This is a summary execution and Israel bears the full responsivity for this crime,” Hmeid said.

The Israeli military said a soldier stationed at a military post near Bethlehem identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles and in response fired his weapon. The military said it was investigating the incident, which comes amid heightened tensions in the West Bank.

Wabeb Manasrah, a cousin of the slain Palestinian, confirmed the governor’s account. 

He said they were trying to help the wounded man and that his cousin was going to drive his wife and children away when he was gunned down.

“There were no clashes, no stone throwing, nothing at all,” he said. “I don’t know why they shot him.”

On Wednesday, the Israeli military said it shot and killed two Palestinians who had attacked troops in the West Bank city of Nablus. 

This followed the killing of a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a weekend stabbing and shooting attack that left two Israelis dead near a West Bank settlement. 

The military said 19-year-old Omar Abu Leila was fatally shot when he opened fire on soldiers trying to arrest him after an intensive two-day manhunt.

Election campaign

The uptick in West Bank violence comes as Israel is currently in the midst of an election campaign and Egypt is trying to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed over 50 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks in the West Bank. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that same period. 

Amid fresh Israeli violence, Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed to keep protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, calling it a “red line” for his country.

King Abdullah said, during a visit to the Zarqa governorate outside Amman, that he was under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites but that he would not.

Abdullah said: “I will never change my position toward Jerusalem in my life.” He added that “all my people are with me.”

He did not specify what kind of pressure he was encountering.

A Jordanian-appointed council oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

It claims exclusive authority over the Noble Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, compound and says it is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction. Tensions often escalate at the site.


Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

  • Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption

BEIRUT: Three lawmakers and members of Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s parliamentary bloc will not abide by its decision to name a new prime minister on Monday. 

Meanwhile, activists in the civil movement are holding meetings to announce a general strike and the blocking of roads on Monday in protest over reports that the new government will not include technocrats.

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption. He later said he would not agree to head a new government unless it consisted of technocrats.

Lawmaker Neemat Frem urged citizens to provide him with the name of their favorite candidate to head the new government, “for you are the primary source of authority, and it is my duty to convey your voice in the binding parliamentary consultations.”

Lawmaker Chamel Roukoz said he will not nominate anyone for the position of prime minister.

Lawmaker Michel Daher declared his intention to boycott the parliamentary consultations if Al-Khatib is the only candidate.

Aoun assured a delegation of British financial and investment institutions, and US bank Morgan Stanley, that binding parliamentary consultations will take place on Monday to form a new government, which will help Lebanon’s friends launch agreed-to development projects.

“The new government’s priority will be to address the economic and financial conditions as soon as it is formed,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

On Friday, Hariri sent letters to the leaders of a number of countries with good relations with Lebanon. 

He asked them to help Lebanon secure credit to import goods from these countries, in order to ensure food security and availability of raw materials for production in various sectors.

His media office said the move “is part of his efforts to address the shortage of financial liquidity, and to secure procuring the basic import requirements for citizens.”

Among the leaders Hariri wrote to are Saudi Arabia’s King Salman; the presidents of France, Russia, Egypt and Turkey; the prime ministers of China and Italy; and the US secretary of state.

On Dec. 11, Paris is due to host a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon. Reuters quoted a European source as saying: “France has already sent invitations to attend the group meeting.”

Protesters continued their sit-ins in front of government institutions in Nabatieh, Zahle and Saida.

In Tripoli, protesters blocked the city’s main roads, which were eventually reopened by the army.

In Akkar, protesters raided public institutions and called for an “independent government that fights corruption, restores looted funds, and rescues the economic situation and living conditions from total collapse.”

Lebanese designer Robert Abi Nader canceled a fashion show that was due to be organized in Downtown Beirut, where protesters are gathering. 

Abi Nader said he intended through his show to express support for the protests by designing a special outfit called “the bride of the revolution,” and revenues were to be dedicated to families in need.