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Israeli forces shoot dead young Palestinian man in southern West Bank

A Palestinian man is lying on the ground after Israeli forces fired shots at him near the Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem, the occupied West Bank, on January 31, 2021, over an alleged stabbing attack. (Photo via Twitter)

Israeli military forces have shot dead a young Palestinian man near the Gush Etzion settlement in the southern part of the West Bank for an alleged stabbing attempt against troops, less than a week after an Israeli military commander fatally shot a Palestinian man in the occupied territories.

Israeli media outlets claimed that the Palestinian man, whose identity was not immediately available and was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, was shot at a junction outside the settlement on Sunday morning.

The Israeli military asserted that the Palestinian approached a bus stop that a soldier was guarding, attempting to stab him with a makeshift spear. The soldier, who was armed with a rifle, then turned and shot the man.

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, condemned the murder, stating that the development attests to the gangster mentality and behavior of the Israeli military.

“The assassination of the young man in cold blood is an extension of settlers' escalating attacks against our people in the West Bank,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.

“The terrorism being exercised by the Occupation army and settler groups requires greater resistance in all its forms to be dealt with, and demonstrates the need for participation in a real and joint confrontation,” he said.

“Such an ideal will be achieved through stopping security coordination [with Israel] and implementing decisions demanding popular resistance,” Qassem added.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces shot dead 17-year-old Palestinian teenager Atallah Rayyan.

The Israeli military alleged in a statement that Rayyan had tried to carry out a stabbing attack against troops deployed at the Ariel settlement junction.

But his mother Mahera told local Palestinian news agency Ma’an that her son’s only concern was to graduate from school.

“On Thursday, he was planning to meet his friends after finishing the last exam of the semester,” she said, tears running down her face.

Many Palestinians have sustained injuries or lost their lives in similar incidents due to allegations that they attempted stabbing or car-ramming attacks.

Israeli troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera brutally killing Palestinians, with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.

Tel Aviv has been criticized for its extensive use of lethal force against and extrajudicial killing of Palestinians who do not pose an immediate threat to the occupation forces or to the Israeli settlers.

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