HUNDREDS of people marched in the funeral processions of two of the Palestinians, out of three killed by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 24 hours.
The latest killing of a Palestinian by Israeli forces took place earlier on Thursday, in a raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Ayman Muhaisen, 21, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers during an armed confrontation in the refugee camp of al-Dheisha, south of Bethlehem. He was the third Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 24 hours.
A day earlier, in the West Bank village of Yabad, another Palestinian was killed during an attack by Israeli soldiers, who entered the village to demolish the house of a Palestinian who allegedly was behind an attack in the occupied territories on March 30.
A day earlier, Israeli troops had fatally shot Palestinian journalist, Ghofran Warasnah, and a youth identified as Bilal Kabaha, in separate shootings in the occupied West Bank.
Warasnah, 31, was shot in the chest at the entrance of the Al Arroub refugee camp near Hebron city. Israeli military alleged the journalist ‘advanced’ toward soldiers with a knife.
After opening fire on her, Israeli forces prevented Red Crescent medics from approaching her for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian youth Kabaha, 24, was killed in an Israeli raid in the north of the occupied West Bank in the village of Yabad near Jenin.
Six other Palestinians were wounded in the raid, including three seriously. ‘They were shot in the neck, abdomen, and face,’ Wafa said.
The Palestinian Prime Minister,Mohammed Shtayyeh, said that the killing of Bilal Kabaha comes as ‘part of the systematic killing operation’ carried out by the Israeli soldiers, ‘under the authorisation of Bennett’, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
He added that Bennett ‘offers the blood of the Palestinian people as a bribe to the Israeli extremists to preserve the fragile cohesion of his collapsing government.’
He criticised the Israeli regime’s back-to-back crimes.
‘As soon as the murderers commit a crime, they commit another, without the slightest regard to international laws and norms,’ said Shtayyeh.
He also urged the international community to take action and to ‘end the double standards, enforce sanctions on Israel, and not allow perpetrators to escape punishment.’
The number of Palestinians, who have been killed since the beginning of the year during confrontations with Israeli forces in and around the West Bank city of Jenin, has reached 22.
The cold-blooded murder of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akle earlier in May was also among the most appalling crimes committed by the Israeli regime over the recent months.
The International Criminal Court has already opened an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel, in both the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
However, Israel does not recognise the court’s jurisdiction and has called the probe ‘unfair’ and ‘anti-Semitic.’
- The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the international community to immediately interfere to stop the Israeli regime’s extra-judicial killings of Palestinian people, denouncing them as ‘war crimes.’
Hamas, the Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movement spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanu said in reaction to the murders: ‘The blood of the martyrs fuels the Palestinian people’s revolution, which will not stop until its goals of freedom and return to their homes.’
The Palestinian Authority which has its headquarters in the West Bank, strongly condemned the killing.
- CHINA says it is ‘firmly’ opposed to the launch of a joint trade initiative between the US and Chinese Taipei, that bypasses Beijing.
On Wednesday, Washington and Taipei unveiled the so-called Initiative on 21st Century Trade — which will purportedly address issues such as customs procedures and digital trade, after Taipei was excluded from the recently-launched US-led Indo-Pacific economic initiative.
On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry expressed Beijing’s opposition to the new initiative.
‘The United States should prudently handle trade and economic ties with Taiwan, to avoid sending a wrong message to Taiwan separatists,’ the ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, told an online briefing.
China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the ‘One China’ policy, almost all world countries recognise that sovereignty.
The US, too, recognises Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.
The Chinese government has strongly rejected the US call for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to invite Chinese Taipei to its annual assembly, reiterating its sovereignty over the self-ruled island.
The US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade was unveiled by US Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi and Taiwan Minister-Without-Portfolio John Deng, during a virtual meeting under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States TECRO.
The initiative, which marks the official launch of trade negotiations between the two sides, will cover 11 key areas, according to Deng, including ‘trade facilitation, regulatory practices, agriculture, anti-corruption, supporting small and medium sized enterprises, digital trade, labour rights, the environment, standards, state-owned enterprises and non-market practices and policies.”
Deng hailed the initiative as a ‘historic breakthrough’ and noted that it would act as a precursor to signing a free trade agreement.
The US, which backs Taipei’s secessionist president, also continues to sell weapons to the island, in violation of its own stated policy.
China has censured the latest passage of a US warship through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, saying such moves ‘deliberately’ impair regional peace and stability.
Tensions between Chinese Taipei and China have been at their highest in decades.
China has been flying fighter jets close to Chinese Taipei, while the US has reportedly had troops deployed in the territory for the past year for training purposes.
The US-China relations have also grown increasingly tense in recent years, with the world’s two largest economies clashing over a range of issues, including trade, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, military activities in the South China Sea, and the origins of the coronavirus.