10/15/2021, 11.59
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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West Bank: Palestinian killed, a second injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers

Security forces allegedly opened fire on a group of young people who were throwing Molotov cocktails on passing cars. In the target a highway near Beit Jala used by Jewish settlers of the area. Even with the Bennet government, the policy of settlement development continues. 

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - One Palestinian killed and a second wounded: this is the balance of the heavy clashes, which took place late last night, with the Israeli security forces in the West Bank. According to Wafa agency, soldiers opened fire on a group of young Palestinians in the town of Beit Jala. 

Another Palestinian agency, Maan, reports that the military fired in response to the throwing of a Molotov cocktail thrown by a young man at an Israeli citizen's vehicle. According to the Israeli army, its troops "hit and killed" a Palestinian who "was throwing firebombs" towards a West Bank highway, often used by Jewish settlers from the area south of Jerusalem.

"One suspect," the report concludes, "was shot and died of his injuries, while the second was arrested."

Russian news agency Sputnik reports the comments of an Israeli army source that the youths "posed a threat to the lives of passengers on the road." The victim reportedly received medical treatment at the scene of the accident, but died due to the severity of his injuries. 

Meanwhile, Israel's policy of expanding the occupied territories with settlements continues. An urban development committee yesterday approved advance plans to build thousands of homes in Givat Hamatos, an illegal settlement in East Jerusalem that threatens to isolate part of the city from its Palestinian inhabitants and the rest of the West Bank.

For Israeli activist Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, this is a "bureaucratic move" because the expropriation is "necessary for the advancement" of occupation projects.

The announcement of the expropriation comes a day after a meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington. In spite of the repeated warnings launched by Israel's allies against the construction of settlements in the West Bank - illegal according to international law - the government led by Bennet has continued to carry out the constructions initiated by his predecessor Netanyahu.

At the beginning of the year, the European Union pointed out that the continuation of these plans, especially the additional housing units in the Givat Hamatos settlement near the Har Homa settlement, would "cut" the connection between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and end up "hindering negotiations for a two-state solution." 

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