Israel Kills One, Cuts Power in West Bank

Israel Kills One, Cuts Power in West BankIsrael Kills One, Cuts Power in West Bank

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military and a Palestinian hospital official said. It also cut off power Monday to more than 700,000 Palestinians in two major West Bank cities and nearby villages.

Residents of the Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem said Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who had entered the area and the troops opened fire.

A Palestinian hospital official identified the dead man as Jihad al-Jaafari, 20, World Bulletin reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the Palestinians hurled rocks, blocks at the troops, wounding one soldier. “The force, feeling imminent danger to their lives, responded with fire,” she added.

The Israeli officials also warned that more outages are coming if Palestinian officials don’t pay millions of dollars in outstanding debt.

The outage in Nablus, the largest West Bank city, and Jenin, to the north, lasted about an hour, but could become a regular part of West Bank life if the Palestinian Authority and the local electric utilities don’t pay their bills, the Israel Electric Corp. (IEC) warned.

Palestinian officials described the IEC move as a political step and collective punishment against the Palestinian people after the Palestinian Authority joined the Hague-based International Criminal Court last month.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move unrecognized internationally and in 2005 pulled out of Gaza, now controlled by Hamas and under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

The Israeli military remains in charge of the West Bank, allowing the Palestinians limited self-rule in certain areas, including the major urban centers.

  Saudi Call for Independent Palestine

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Riyadh on Monday and reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support for the Palestinians to establish an independent state.

“King Salman affirmed the kingdom’s solid stand on the Palestinian issue and the Palestinians legitimate right to have independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” said an official statement.

The Saudi leader also stressed the kingdom’s efforts to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and urged the international community to take effective steps to protect the Palestinians from unending Israeli aggression.

Salman and Abbas reviewed the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Abbas thanked the Saudi government and people for their continuous support to the Palestinians.