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Palestinian man killed in clashes with Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestinians carry the body of 24-year-old old Muhammad Zain al-Jaabari, who was shot during clashes with Israeli forces, as they walk in a procession down a street in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil on March 9, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli military forces have shot dead a young Palestinian man in northern part of the occupied West Bank during clashes in protest at US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel.

The spokesman for the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Ahmad Jibril, told Ma'an news agency that the victim was fatally shot on Saturday evening as dozens of people staged a demonstration in the village of Urif, located 13 kilometers south of Nablus. 

He added that Israeli troops were holding an ambulance at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, refusing to let Palestinian medics pass through Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of monitoring Israel's settlement expansion activities, identified the deceased Palestinian as 22-year-old Ameer Omar Ibrahim Shehadeh, noting that he had sustained gunshots to his chess.

A 16-year-old Palestinian teenager, identified as Hamam Mohammed Safadi, was also struck in the leg by a live bullet.

The development came a day after a young Palestinian man died of his wounds he suffered during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, also known as Hebron.

The man was identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Zain al-Jaabari.

Jaabari was critically injured during clashes between Israeli forces and local Palestinian youths. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

Israeli forces fire teargas canisters towards Palestinian protesters following a demonstration in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on March 9, 2018 against a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel. (Photo by AFP)

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed a new wave of tension ever since Trump announced his decision on December 6 last year to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

On December 21 last year, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”

In an attempt to avert the resolution, Trump warned that “we’re watching,” threatening reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.

Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

A Palestinian woman covers her face against tear gas fumes while others raise Palestinian flags during a demonstration against US President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem al-Quds ahead of International Women's Day, at Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank between Jerusalem al-Quds and Ramallah on March 7, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On January 18, the US reneged on a December pledge to contribute $45 million in food aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The announcement came only two days after the US State Department said it would withhold another $65 million in funding to UNRWA.

The announcement to cut aid to Palestinian refugees came after the US president made a threat to cut off aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.

In a series of tweets on January 2, Trump said that the US had paid “the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year” and yet got “no appreciation or respect.”

“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he asked.

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