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Israel seeking to 'separate' West Bank and Gaza: Palestinian foreign ministry

Smoke billows over the Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on December 3, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has warned that Israel is planning to "solidify the separation" between the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip in an attempt to undermine the prospects of a future Palestinian state.

The ministry made the remarks in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday, saying that Israel seeks to carry out the plan amid its ongoing deadly bombing campaign against Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has time and again said he plans to annex “all” settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Palestinian foreign ministry further condemned the killing of a 38-year-old Palestinian man, who was shot by Israeli settlers on Saturday, calling it "a deliberate attempt to escalate the situation in the West Bank."

Israeli settlers fired live ammunition at Ahmed Mustafa Assi, father of six children, after raiding the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in northwestern West Bank under the protection of the regime’s forces.

Assi was then left bleeding on the ground while Israeli forces accompanying settlers did not allow medical teams or local Palestinians to reach him.

Israel has ramped up its aggression against Palestinians across the West Bank since October 7, when it launched a genocidal war against the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and thousands of others injured by Israeli settlers or troops across the occupied territory since the onset of the war.

Around 16,000 people have so far been killed in Gaza with over 40,000 people wounded. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 70 percent of victims of Israeli strikes on the blockaded territory are women and children.

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