Arab towns in Israel strike the day after two separate fatal incidents
Jerusalem, Apr 2 (EFE).- Public services, businesses and most schools were closed in Arab towns across Israel on Sunday as Palestinians went on strike to protest after a man was killed during an altercation with Israeli police in Jerusalem, amid spiralling tensions in the region.
Police claimed the 26-year-old Palestinian had snatched an officer’s gun and fired two shots before he was shot dead near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday.
But eyewitnesses disputed the police version of events and said Mohammed al-Asibi, a resident of the Bedouin village of Hura, was shot after he tried to help a woman who was caught up in an argument with Israeli officers.
Earlier on Saturday, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man after he allegedly injured three soldiers in a suspected car-ramming attack, the Israeli military and Palestinian medical services have said.
One of the soldiers was seriously injured, while the other two sustained moderate and light injuries in the incident that took place near the town of Beit Ummar in Hebron on Saturday evening, an army spokesperson said in a statement.
The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the driver’s death, saying he was a 23-year-old resident of Surif, a town northwest of Hebron.
According to local media, he was a member of the Palestinian security forces.
He succumbed to his wounds after Israeli forces prevented medical services from reaching him when he was shot, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
Saturday’s incidents, which come with Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, are the latest in an intensifying wave of deadly violence in the region. The situation between Israelis and Palestinians has been particularly tense for months.
So far this year, some 90 Palestinians have been killed, an average of more than one per day, following military operations, Palestinian-led attacks, and clashes with Israeli troops, the deadliest start to the year in the West Bank since 2000.
On the Israeli side, 15 people have died in 2023.
Israel took control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 and has occupied and colonized these territories ever since. EFE