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Israeli forces shoot, kill 2 Palestinian men in West Bank

A Palestinian man is lying on the road after an alleged stabbing attempt in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on March 12, 2019. (Photo by Arabic-language Safa news agency)

Israeli military forces have shot and killed two young Palestinian men in different parts of the West Bank as tensions continue in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli media outlets said a Palestinian, armed with a knife, entered the contentious Beit HaShalom building near the Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Tuesday, attempting to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers.

A resident of the building saw the man and called Israeli forces to the scene, the reports said. No Israeli troops or settlers were injured in the attempted attack.

Israeli soldiers run inside a cemetery near the scene of an alleged stabbing attempt in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on March 12, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Local sources said he was left on the ground, bleeding as Palestinian ambulances were not allowed to help him.

The Palestinian man was later identified as 27-year-old Yasser al-Shweiki. Fawzi al-Shweiki, Yasser’s father, told Palestinian Ma'an news agency that his son was distributing notices from the Sharia Court across al-Khalil at the time.

The Israeli military regularly opens fatal fire on Palestinians, accusing them of seeking to stab its personnel.

A Palestinian man gestures in front of Israeli soldiers at the scene of an alleged stabbing attempt in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on March 12, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Human rights groups have repeatedly slammed the Tel Aviv regime for its shoot-to-kill policy as a large number of the Palestinians killed at the scene of attacks did not pose any serious threat to Israelis.

On Wednesday evening, a 23-year-year-old Palestinian man, identified as Mohammed Jamil Shahin, was critically injured during clashes with a group of Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian sources said Shahin was was struck with a bullet in his chest as skirmishes broke out in the central West Bank city of Salfit, and pronounced dead an hour later.

The flashpoint city of al-Khalil has seen a sharp hike in violence over the past weeks after the Israeli regime decided in late January to expel an international observer mission – officially named the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) – which was tasked with documenting Israeli human rights violations and safeguarding Palestinians.

The unarmed civilian mission had been established following an agreement reached between the Tel Aviv regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1994, when an Israeli settler killed 29 Palestinian worshipers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil.

Tensions have been running high in the West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip since December 2017, when US President Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and move Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.

On December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial policy shift vis-à-vis Jerusalem al-Quds.

Despite the vote, the US went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14 last year, triggering angry protests in the Palestinian territories and Muslim countries.

Israel’s crackdown in the Gaza Strip left over 60 protesters dead on that day alone.

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