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Palestinian teen killed during West Bank protests, PA security blamed

Israeli soldiers watch Palestinians during a protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan in Tubas, West Bank on January 29, 2020 [Nedal Eshtayah / Anadolu Agency]
Israeli soldiers watch Palestinians during a protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan in Tubas, West Bank on January 29, 2020 [Nedal Eshtayah / Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian teenager died yesterday after being shot during protests in Qabatiya, a village south of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

The teen, identified as 17-year-old Salah Zakareneh, was shot and later succumbed to his wounds, the Daily Star Lebanon reported. While, an unnamed security source told the Palestinian news site Ma’an that Zakareneh was hit by a bullet in the chest.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that Zakareneh was shot late on Tuesday during a “violent clash” with Palestinian “security forces and armed men in the Qabatiya area”.

According to the Times of Israel, two people were injured by gunfire, and a further 18 security force members sustained injuries after being hit by rocks.

Violence between the two groups reportedly kicked off during celebrations following the release of a prisoner from an Israeli jail.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Jenin Governor Akram Rajoub said, in a video published on Facebook, that PA security forces were deployed to Qabatiya after information was obtained that a “military style demonstration” would take place there.

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Rajoub said that on arrival in the village, gunmen opened fire and hurled rocks at PA security forces, which responded with tear gas, while some officers shot bullets into the air.

The Jenin governor did not explicitly address whether Zakareneh was shot by PA security forces, or Palestinian gunmen, but blamed the latter for causing “the chaos”.

Despite several calls for answers, Rajoub refused to clarify exact events.

Hamas spokesperson Hazen Qassim has since accused Palestinian security forces of firing a bullet at Zakarneh, which, he said, proves “the logic of thuggery that the services employ against out people”.

Adding that “we [Hamas] affirm our national demand regarding the necessity of halting security coordination between the services and the occupation’s army”, via Twitter.

Security coordination between Israel and Palestine security forces has been viewed as contentious, and widely unpopular among the Palestinian public.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced earlier in February that he would cut all ties with Israel and the US, including security cooperation, after US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan was unveiled.

However, senior PA official, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said on Sunday that Palestinian security cooperation with Israel remains continuous, “but it might not continue forever”.

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