RAMALLAH: Three Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in two different incidents in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Amnesty International said in a report that Israel was carrying out “the crime of apartheid against Palestinians” and must be held accountable for treating them as “an inferior racial group”.
Ammar Shafiq Abu Afifa was killed by “Israeli occupation forces shooting at him near the town of Beit Fajar”, the ministry said on Tuesday.
Afifa was a resident of the Al-Aroub refugee camp north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
Separately, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians before dawn on Tuesday after coming under fire during an arrest raid in the northern West Bank, Israeli border police and Palestinian health authorities said.
Israeli border police said officers and undercover police entered the Jenin refugee camp to arrest a suspect “wanted for terrorist activity”.
“After the arrest of the suspect, as the forces left the house, heavy fire was opened from several directions, and undercover forces operating at the scene responded with live fire,” police said.
They said as police reached their vehicles, another assailant shot at the forces, “who responded with accurate fire”.
The Palestinian health ministry said two men were killed in the fighting. Wafa identified them as Abdullah al-Hosari, 22, and Shadi Khaled Najm, 18.
Troops arrested Imad Jamal Abu al-Heija, a freed prisoner, Wafa reported.
The news agency said the killing of the two Palestinians sparked a “massive and angry march” in Jenin.
The killings come just more than a week after a 14-year-old boy, Mohammed Shehadeh, was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Al-Khader.
Palestinian and international rights groups have long condemned what they say is the excessive use of force by Israeli forces.
B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, said it had recorded 77 Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli forces in the West Bank last year. More than half of those killed were not implicated in any attacks, it added.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war.
Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law. Today, between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers live in at least 250 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.