Israeli Leaders, Extremists Vows Complete Annexation of the West Bank

Two Palestinians and an Israeli settler have been killed in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli leaders threaten to build more Jewish-only settlements in the territory.

Israeli troops fired tear gas during clashes with Palestinian youth at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah.

Erab al-Fuqaha of the Palestinian Red Crescent told Al Jazeera, “There were lots of people because it’s the last Friday of Ramadan … There was some pushing, and the Israelis fired a lot of tear gas”.

In a video posted on social media by the Activestills collective photo agency, Israeli soldiers are seen hitting Palestinians with batons, throwing sound grenades, firing tear gas canisters and threatening to “use force”.

Friday’s violence came just a day after a Palestinian teen was shot dead after entering the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron and stabbing to death Hallel Yafa Ariel, a 13-year-old Israeli girl.

Within hours, Israeli forces blockaded Bani Naim, the assailant’s village near Hebron, activist Issa Amro told Al Jazeera.

At the girl’s funeral in Kiryat Arba on Friday, several Israeli politicians vowed to expand Jewish-only settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli media reported.

Referring to areas in the West Bank and present-day Israel, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, said: “We will build in Sarona and Kiryat Arba, in Jaffa and Jerusalem, in Itamar and Beersheba.”

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, the girl’s cousin and a key figure in the Israeli settlement movement, called for “Israeli sovereignty” in the West Bank.

Yehuda Glick, a far-right Israeli politician, called for Israel to annex the West Bank and Jewish-Israelis to increase their excursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims.

More than 530,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements across the West Bank, according to the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

(Al-Jazeera, PC)

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