Israeli soldiers secure the area at the Tapuach checkpoint north of Nablus city on November 7, 2013, after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who was shooting fireworks towards the soldiers
Israeli soldiers secure the area at the Tapuach checkpoint north of Nablus city on November 7, 2013, after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who was shooting fireworks towards the soldiers © Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP
Israeli soldiers secure the area at the Tapuach checkpoint north of Nablus city on November 7, 2013, after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who was shooting fireworks towards the soldiers
AFP
Last updated: November 8, 2013

Israeli forces kill 2nd Palestinian in West Bank

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian near Jerusalem, Israeli police and family members said on Friday, as the United States warned of a third intifada if Middle East peace talks fail.

The police said Anas al-Atrash, 23, was shot dead when he ran at an officer with a knife at a checkpoint between the West Bank and the suburbs of east Jerusalem on Thursday night, in the second such fatality in 12 hours.

It came just hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel of a potential eruption of Palestinian violence unless peace talks succeed.

"The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos," Kerry told Israeli and Palestinian television during a trip to the region aimed at putting the faltering peace process back on track.

"I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?" the US top diplomat asked, using the Arabic word for uprising.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon rejected the notion that failure in the US-brokered talks, which were renewed in July with a nine-month deadline, would result in violence or that a solution was even possible in this timeframe.

"We are managing an open and prolonged conflict, which for the Palestinians does not end with the 1967 borders," his office quoted him as saying.

"There is no sign of compromise (from the Palestinians). We are therefore not about to solve this based on what we thought.

"We have an event that probably does not have a solution now, but it will take time. We will manage it wisely, and there is no need to fear threats of a third intifada", said Yaalon.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed he would not rush to a deal with Palestinians that does not guarantee Israel's security.

"The pressure has to be put where it belongs that is on the Palestinians who refuse to budge," he said ahead of a meeting with Kerry on Friday morning.

"But I think that in any case, no amount of pressure will make me or the government of Israel compromise on the basic security interests and national interest of the state of Israel."

'Intent to join God'

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Atrash was shot at the Wadi Nara checkpoint around midnight (2200 GMT), when he ran at a border policeman with a knife, prompting the officer to open fire.

"A Palestinian who arrived at the area ran out of a vehicle toward border police who were there on patrol," Rosenfeld said.

"The Palestinian had a knife in his hand and a border police officer responded by firing shots at the suspect who was injured seriously and pronounced dead a short while after."

The fatality's father Fuad al-Atrash told AFP that border police "stopped my two sons at the checkpoint and they were waiting to be checked. Then the soldiers came to the car and opened the door and my son tried to get out and they shot him."

The brother was arrested, he added.

Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said on Twitter that Atrash had published his "intent to join God" on his Facebook page a short while before his incident.

Atrash was buried in Hebron on Friday. An AFP correspondent said some 3,000 people participated in the funeral, following which there were minor clashes between youths and Israeli forces in Hebron.

A few hours before Atrash's death, Israeli forces shot dead another Palestinian near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, saying he had fired a flare gun at Israelis at Tapuah Junction.

The body of the man, identified as Bashar Habaneen, 29, was handed over to Palestinians by the Israeli army on Friday morning, Palestinian security sources said.

Habaneen, from the village of Mirka near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was a lecturer at Tulkarem university who, like Atrash, was not known to have belonged to any political or militant faction.

In other violence on Friday morning, two Israelis were lightly wounded by a molotov cocktail thrown at their car near the Tekoa settlement, the Israeli army said.

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