Palestinian youth throws stones at Kalandia checkpoint 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)
A Palestinian was reportedly killed on Friday during clashes with the IDF
outside the village of Qusra in the West Bank, marking the first
casualty since riots began earlier this week in conjunction with the
Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations.
IDF said that it was looking into the reports and had launched a joint
investigation with PA security forces. The Ma’an News Agency identified
the dead man as Issam Kamal Odeh, 33, and said he was shot by two
bullets in the neck and shoulder during clashes with the IDF troops near
Qusra and not far from the city of Nablus.
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IDF confirmed that it was operating in the area and had been working to
quell violent protests which erupted outside the village with the
participation of around 300 Palestinians. The military said that
soldiers used various riot dispersal means including live fire. Two
other Palestinians were also reported to have been injured.
Earlier in the day, violence
broke out in east Jerusalem and at the Kalandiya Crossing north of
Jerusalem. A number of East Jerusalem Arabs and Palestinians were
arrested by police. Other protests were held at the villages of Bilin
and Nilin near the West Bank security barrier.
The IDF was on
high alert throughout the West Bank amid fears that Palestinians would
launch large-scale demonstrations in conjunction with PA President
Mahmoud Abbas’s speech later Friday at the United Nations.
of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz toured the West Bank on Friday
and held a number of security consultations with commanders in the
field. Gantz visited the Kalandiya Crossing together with OC Central
Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi and then traveled to the Gush Etzion
settlement bloc, stopping to meet soldiers deployed near Bethlehem.
a strategy meeting with police officers on Friday afternoon next to the Al Aqsa Mosque plaza, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahronovitch said "the period from the end of prayers until the
Abbas speech are very sensitive hours," he said.
worshippers attended prayers at Al Aqsa and left the plaza without
incident, though a young woman in religious dress was seen being led to a
waiting police car in handcuffs.
Police arrested two youths at
the Majalas Gate, one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, after the
two tried to force their way into the plaza.
As is typical
during politically sensitive times when police fear the possibility of
violence, Friday prayers were limited to men over age 50 with blue
Israeli ID cards and women of any age.
Three youths were also
arrested in Beit Hanina after they burned tires and threw rock at a
patrol of border police. Another youth was also arrested for throwing
rocks in Ras al Amud.
Yochanan Danino said security forces were deployed across the
country with a special emphasis on Jerusalem and the border around
Jerusalem. Danino and Ahronovitch planned to tour the Jerusalem-West
Bank border and the Kalandia checkpoint later this afternoon.
goal is awareness, trying to be aware of situations before we need to
use force," he said after the meeting. "The quiet is continuing and we
haven't seen any evidence that people are preparing to disturb the
peace," he said.
Ahronovitch also stressed that the car accident
this morning in Kiryat Arba, in which a 5-year-old Palestinian boy was
in critical condition after being hit by a car driven by Jews, was an
accident. "We know this was not premeditated and it doesn't seem that
there is a connection to the events and we will continue to enforce the
quiet," said Ahronovitch.
Hundreds of east Jerusalem residents
are expected to gather at Damascus Gate this evening for a showing of
Abbas' speech on a giant screen.
Melanie Lidman and Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.
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