Jordan condemns Israeli army murder of Jordanian in Jerusalem

An Israeli officer allows Palestinian paramedics to approach after removing the body of a Palestinian man shot dead for what the Israeli military said was a stabbing attack in Tal Rumaida, in the West Bank city of Hebron,  on September 17, 2016. Abed Al Hashlamoun /  EPA
An Israeli officer allows Palestinian paramedics to approach after removing the body of a Palestinian man shot dead for what the Israeli military said was a stabbing attack in Tal Rumaida, in the West Bank city of Hebron, on September 17, 2016. Abed Al Hashlamoun / EPA

Amman // Jordan on Saturday condemned Israel’s “barbaric” killing of one of its nationals in east Jerusalem as another Palestinian was shot dead by security forces in the West Bank.

The latest killing meant the death toll from two days of violence had risen five.

Jordanian Saeed Amro, 28, was shot on Friday at the Damascus Gate, the main entrance used by Palestinians to enter Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli police alleged that he had tried to stab a policewoman who then shot him.

The Jordanian foreign ministry denounced “the barbaric act of the army of the Israeli occupation, whose premeditated shooting of the Jordanian Saeed Amro ... killed him on the spot”.

“Amro was part of a group of tourists who had entered the Palestinian territories on Thursday to visit Jerusalem,” said ministry spokesman Sabah Refai.

Many Palestinians hold Jordanian passports, and Israeli police said on Friday they were checking if Amro also had Palestinian papers. However, a Jordanian official said he was not Palestinian.

Amro was one of three people killed by Israeli forces on Friday. Two Palestinian men where shot in and around Hebron, also while allegedly carrying out attacks. Another was killed on Saturday at a checkpoint in the city’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood.

The Israeli army said the he drew a knife and wounded a soldier before he was shot.

On Thursday, a man was also in Hebron, after allegedly trying to evade arrest by the Israeli military.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israel’s use of excessive force.

“Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and wilful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions,” she said on Saturday.

“We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively and to hold Israel accountable with punitive measures before it is too late.”

More than 228 Palestinians have been killed since violence flared in the occupied Palestinian territories last October, with some attacks and shootings also taking place in Israel. In the same period, 34 Israelis, two Americans, one Eritrean, a Sudanese as well as the Jordanian have been killed, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli forces say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes. Palestinian officials and rights groups accuse Israel of using excessive force.

The killings at the weekend ended three weeks of relative calm and came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned that a two-state solution was “further than ever” from becoming reality.

International powers have criticised Israel’s continued settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem — land the Palestinians want for their future state, along with the Gaza Strip. More than 500,000 Israelis now live in West Bank communities that the international community considers illegal.

“Despite warnings by the international community and the region, leaders on both sides have failed to take the difficult steps needed for peace,” Mr Ban said on Friday.

“Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end,” he added.

The United Nations has been struggling to find a way to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been halted since a US-led diplomatic effort collapsed in April 2014.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since capturing it in the 1967 Six Day War.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: September 17, 2016 04:00 AM

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