A civilian Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian man inside his car in the occupied West Bank on Friday, claiming that the Palestinian rammed his vehicle into a bus stop and lightly wounded two Israeli soldiers near a Jewish settlement, police and the military said.
A separate car ramming incident also happened later on Friday, when a car reportedly rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers in Hebron, lightly wounding six of them, but the Palestinian vehicle driver was shot dead on the spot. Massive clashes erupted at the scene of the second ramming in Hebron.
Since the eve of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah in mid September, 103 Palestinians and 19 Israelis have been killed in inter-communal violence. Most of the Palestinians killed were teenagers as young as 12 - some of whom were killed by armed Israeli civilians, and others by Israeli security forces which usually allege the Palestinians were attempting attacks.
Palestinians say the recent violence is the result of frustration from nearly half a century of occupation and they accuse Israel of using excessive force to suppress the unrest while Israel says it is due to a Palestinian campaign of lies and provocation surrounding the Muslim holy site of Al Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinians also say Israeli forces can detain and stop assailants instead of directly shooting them, and that they are shooting suspects without making sure that they were in fact attempting attacks.
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Jerusalem this week showed no signs of success, with numerous incidents of violence taking place before, during and after his talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Kerry’s visit did not include ambitious goals such as jump starting stalled peace talks or reaching a resolution that could end the bloodshed before US President Barack Obama’s term of office ends.