West News Wire: According to the Palestinian health ministry, five Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in two separate instances in the occupied West Bank.

According to the ministry, Ammar Shafiq Abu Afifa was slain by “Israeli occupation soldiers shooting at him near the town of Beit Fajar.”

When contacted by the AFP news agency, the Israeli army did not respond immediately.

According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Afifa was a resident of the Al-Aroub refugee camp north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Separately, two Palestinians were slain by Israeli troops early Tuesday in the northern West Bank when they came under fire during an arrest raid, according to Israeli border police and Palestinian health officials.

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.

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Last month, Amnesty International said in a new 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”.

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.




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