Palestinian man shot dead in clash with Israeli soldiers
A Palestinian man has been shot dead in a clash with Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.
Hours before President Mahmoud Abbas's address to the general assembly and his formal request for recognition of a Palestinian state, the man, identified as Issam Badran, 35, was shot in the neck, according to witnesses including an Associated Press reporter.
The incident began with a warning broadcast made over mosque speakers in Qusra of an approach by settlers from a nearby outpost. Scores of village men and youths headed towards a hill where around 20 settlers had gathered, waving Israeli flags.
Israeli troops arrived and fired tear gas, then live rounds. Settlers also fired their weapons. confirmed its troops had used live fire against the Palestinians after rocks were thrown and said it was working with Palestinian security officials to investigate.
Qusra has been the scene of repeated incursions by settlers in recent weeks, including an attack on a mosque in which tyres were set alight inside the building and the walls defaced with Hebrew graffiti.
Elsewhere, sporadic clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli military broke out in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank on Friday.
Several hundred young Palestinians, swathed in Palestinian flags, their faces covered with scarves, gathered at Qalandiya checkpoint to throw stones, in defiance of Abbas's call for non-violent demonstration.
"We're not listening to Abu Mazen [Abbas], we never do," said one 20-year-old student, clutching several rocks in his hand. "Really we're just playing. It's a game we play every week. We want to send a message that after 60 years of occupation, we're still here."
One group of youths marched towards a line of Israeli troops holding aloft an American flag with the word "veto" printed on before torching it. Others threw rocks and miniature molotov cocktails at the advancing soldiers.
On the other side of the separation wall, Israeli police reported five arrests in East Jerusalem for rock throwing in an afternoon described by spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld as "relatively quiet".
The arrest of Hamze Jaber, 17, in the neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud sparked outrage. "He did nothing. He just saw the soldiers, got scared and ran. They chased him and jumped on him. Now he'll be in prison for maybe two months," said Jamil Abu Madi, 27, a local who struggled to hold back furious young boys from throwing stones at retreating Israeli soldiers.
"They closed Al-Aqsa mosque today so we just prayed on the street. Why? Because of a Palestinian state? We just want to live."
In the village of Nabi Saleh, protesters burned Israeli flags and posters of US president Barack Obama in an expression of rage over his UN speech this week, widely seen as overtly sympathetic to . Police fired teargas at the protesters.
There were further clashes in the villages of Bil'in and Ni'lin. Confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli troops in West Bank villages are a routine Friday occurrence.