Palestinian factions condemn Israel for escalating tension in West Bank

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Palestinian factions, including the Fatah Party led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas, on Thursday condemned Israel for killing Palestinians and escalating tensions in the West Bank.

Over the past three weeks, tensions have flared up between the two sides, particularly since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan at the beginning of April, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Palestine’s Ministry of Health, two Palestinians were killed on Thursday in clashes with Israeli forces in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Another civilian succumbed to wounds after being shot in Nablus.

Israeli authorities said that the soldiers “responded with live ammunition” after dozens of Palestinians violently attacked and shot at them, endangering their safety.

In a statement, the Central Committee of the Fatah Party denounced “the Israeli government’s disregard for the lives of Palestinians by unleashing the Israeli army and settler groups to carry out field assassinations and military incursions.”

Israel “is waging war against the Palestinian people and drags the entire region to catastrophic results”, the committee said.

Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh tweeted on Thursday that “Palestinian blood is being shed daily by the occupation forces”.

On the same day, Abbas held a telephone conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, saying “what is happening in the Palestinian territories due to the aggressive Israeli practices is serious and dangerous,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Furthermore, three Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in three separate incidents near Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah in the West Bank, the health ministry reported on Wednesday.

By the ministry’s count, 41 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank since January.

In Gaza, Hamas said it mourns the six Palestinians who lost their lives on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Hamas affirms that escalating Israeli measures against the defenseless Palestinian civilians will not stop the heroic resistance operations throughout occupied Palestine,” it said.

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