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Palestine: Israel responsible for killing of Palestinian civilians, settler crimes

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)
Israeli soldiers stand on guard by the fence along the the besiged Gaza Strip on December 7, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian presidency has warned against rising crimes and killings by Israeli forces and extremist settlers, stressing that the situation could spiral out of control across the occupied territories. 

In a statement released on Thursday, the Palestinian leadership held the Israeli regime accountable for killings, arrests and settler crimes targeting Palestinian civilians.

It urged the international community to intervene and provide international protection for the Palestinian people. It appealed to everyone to assume their responsibilities before the situation explodes in an uncontrollable manner.

The statement called on the United States, a close ally of Israel, to refrain from offering unconditional support for the Tel Aviv regime.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned US national security advisor Jake Sullivan in their recent meeting that without a "political horizon," any small incident on the ground could create an escalation that may spiral out of control, as it has happened repeatedly in the past, it said.

The presidency also encouraged activists to expose and confront settler terrorism and their attacks, which are being carried out under the support of the Israeli army.

It also condemned the killing of two young Palestinian men during separate attacks by Israeli forces and settlers early Thursday.

In the first incident, Israeli forces fatally shot a young Palestinian man during a violent raid on a refugee camp in the northern West Bank. The incident took place at the Balata refugee camp in Nablus city, as Palestinians clashed with the Israeli soldiers who had stormed the camp to make arrests.

According to Palestinian medical and security sources, Bakir Hashash, 21, was shot in the head.

Elsewhere, another young Palestinian lost his life after being run over by an Israeli settler in the village of Safa in the western part of the West Bank. The Palestinian, identified as 25-year-old Mustafa Yasin Fathna, was on his way to work when he was hit.

The Tel Aviv regime 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.

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

A current report by an NGO said Israeli forces killed 357 Palestinians in 2021 amid the silence of the international community on the regime’s increasing acts of violence against civilians.

Palestinian groups and activists have warned that Israel’s practices and settler “assaults” in the occupied West Bank could lead to a new intifada (uprising).

Hamas and other Palestinian factions, meanwhile, have renewed their call for stepping up “all forms of resistance” against Israel.

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, stepped up its criticism of the Israeli regime in the wake of the growing violence by its troops and settlers in the West Bank.

Elsewhere in the statement, the presidency held the Israeli regime responsible for violating the rights of Palestinian prisoners and its illegal settlement expansion activities and land grabs policies.

Tensions have been running high in the occupied territories for months over Israel’s settlement activities and its planned eviction of Palestinian families from their ancestral homes.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented hundreds of settler attacks against Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank last year.

In a recent 43-page report, the advocacy group revealed that Israel had been using settler violence as a “strategy” to take over the occupied West Bank and expel Palestinians from their own land.

The Israeli regime occupied the West Bank in 1967 before starting to dot the Palestinian territory with illegal settlements and severely restricting the Palestinians' freedom of movement there.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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