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Palestinian Authority blames West Bank escalation on Trump’s 'deal of century'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A comrade of Palestinian policeman Staff Sergeant Tareq Badwan, who was shot dead by Israeli forces earlier in the day, mourns over his body during his funeral in the occupied northern West Bank city of Jenin on February 6, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Authority has censured the recent spate of “dangerous Israeli escalation against Palestinian people” in the occupied West Bank as the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's announcement of his so-called deal of the century on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, in a statement carried by Palestine’s official Wafa news agency, blamed Trump’s plan for the aggression, arguing that it has “created this atmosphere of escalation and tension by trying to impose fake facts on the ground, which we have repeatedly warned against.”

The Palestinian official added, “We have stressed that any deal that does not meet the rights of our people and does not aim to make a just and comprehensive peace will inevitably lead to the escalation that we are currently witnessing.”

Abu Rudeineh then warned against the Israeli regime’s systematic Israeli acts of aggression, emphasizing that “the Palestinian people and their leadership will stand strong against all these conspiracies, and they will foil them just as they did in the past.”

The statement came after Israeli military forces fatally shot a young Palestinian man on allegations of opening fire at a group of soldiers, who were stationed near the Parsa Junction outside the Dolev settlement, northwest of Ramallah, on Thursday afternoon.

The Israeli military said the soldier was slightly injured from the gunfire, and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Earlier, a Palestinian Authority police officer, identified as 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Tareq Badwan, succumbed to his wounds after he was shot by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Video footage shared by Palestinians on social media apparently shows the moment Badwan was hit by Israeli fire. The officer was seemingly standing in uniform inside a police station in Jenin at the time, and did not appear to be a threat to the Israeli soldiers operating in the city.

Badwan was the second Palestinian security officer killed in Jenin overnight.

Yazan Abu Tabikh, 19, a police cadet, was also shot dead during clashes that broke out in the city during Israeli forces’ demolition of a Palestinian home in the predawn hours of Thursday morning.

On Wednesday evening, Palestinian witnesses, requesting not to be named, said a 17-year-old boy, identified as Mohammad Salman al-Haddad, was shot in the heart during clashes between a group of Palestinian protesters and Israeli military forces in Bab al-Zawiyeh neighborhood of the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil, situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that Haddad was brought to hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The statement added that he had been hit by a live bullet in the chest, which penetrated through his heart, killing him almost immediately.

On January 28, Trump unveiled his so-called deal of the century, negotiated with Israel but without the Palestinians.

Palestinian leaders, who severed all ties with Washington in late 2017 after Trump controversially recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime, immediately rejected the plan, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying it “belongs to the dustbin of history.”

Palestinian leaders say the deal is a colonial plan to unilaterally control historic Palestine in its entirety and remove Palestinians from their homeland, adding that it heavily favors Israel and would deny them a viable independent state.

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