Abbas warns Israel after killing of two young Palestinians

Friday 24/04/2015
Israel\'s account of what happened cannot be trusted

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli troops killing of two Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Saturday.

In a press statement, the presidency affirmed the urgent need for an international intervention to insure the protection of the Palestinian people, to end the Israeli occupation, and to help establish an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted President Mahmoud Abbas's office saying Abu Ghannam's killing emphasised "the ugliness of the occupation and its crimes against the defenceless Palestinian people under baseless and incorrect pretexts".

WAFA, quoting witnesses, said Israeli soldiers had provoked a 17¬-year¬-old young man and then turned into scuffles which led to being shot directly.

It said that the Israeli authorities refused to hand over the body of the young Palestinian to the Palestinian Red Crescent as it was transferred by an Israeli ambulance to 'Abu Kabir' institute for dissection.

The Israeli police claimed that the young man tried to stab one of the soldiers at the checkpoint with a knife

Israeli security forces killed the two Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Saturday, police said.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian was shot dead by a paramilitary Israeli border police patrol after stabbing one of its men in the head and chest, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The injured policeman was taken to hospital.

Samri described the dead Palestinian as being around 20 years old. No further details on his identity were immediately available.

Earlier, 17-year-old Palestinian Ali Abu Ghannam attacked Israeli border police with a cleaver at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem and then fled, with troops giving chase and firing warning shots in the air, Samri said.

Reaching a second checkpoint, Abu Ghannam drew another knife and ran toward security guards there. They shot him dead when he ignored their warnings to stop, Samri said.

Abu Ghannam's family rejected the Israeli account of the incident. One relative, Mohammed Abu Ghannam, said he did not believe the boy had been armed and that he had been on his way back from a friend's party when he was killed.

The family were refusing to receive the body, Mohammed Abu Ghannam said, because Israeli authorities had ordered a limit on the number of people allowed at the burial -- a measure often imposed by Israel at the funerals of Palestinian militants in Jerusalem.

Stone-throwing Palestinian protesters faced off with Israeli riot police in East Jerusalem later on Saturday and one policeman was lightly injured, Samri said. Separately, two policemen and a policewoman were injured when a car rammed into them, Samir said, adding that the incident appeared to have been deliberate. Police located the car but the driver escaped.

The Palestinians seek statehood in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But their peace talks with Israel have been stalled since last April.

Violence in the Jerusalem area has flared up intermittently since Israelis killed a Palestinian youth in revenge for the killings of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers last year, just before a 50-day war with the Hamas militants who control Gaza.

Israeli tanks fired at Gaza on Friday after Israel said a rocket had been fired from the territory during Independence Day celebrations a day earlier. There were no casualties in those incidents.