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Ministry: Killing of 4 teens a 'dangerous escalation' by Israel

Jan. 8, 2016 1:25 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2016 7:42 P.M.)
An Israeli soldier aims his weapon at Palestinian protesters during clashes on a street leading to Duma village, on Aug.1, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday said the deaths of four Palestinian teens the day before marked a “dangerous escalation” in the current political situation.

The ministry in a statement condemned the “continuous series of crimes and field executions by Netanyahu’s government against Palestinians,” referring to the killing of four Palestinians on Thursday as a “massacre.”

The four -- aged between 16 and 19 an all from the Hebron-area village of Sair -- were shot dead by Israeli forces in two separate incidents after Israel’s army said the teens attempted to stab Israeli soldiers.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement expressed dissatisfaction over silence of the international community and rights organizations in regards to Israeli policies amid the recent wave of unrest in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“It is enough for an Israeli to shout ‘terrorist’ at a nearby Palestinian for them to be shot without first having to either confirm the claim or attempt to arrest them,” the ministry’s statement said.

The ministry cautioned the international community against “Israel’s false excuses and claims to justify its field executions against Palestinians.”

The ministry demanded the United Nations and the international community to provide safety for Palestinians and to take effective measures to pressure Israel to abide by international law.

Palestinian leadership has repeatedly requested international protection for Palestinians under Israeli military occupation since the start of the recent wave of violence, however requests have yet to come to fruition.

An attack by Palestinian gunmen that left two Israeli settlers dead on Oct. 1 kicked-off a wave of near-daily attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military and civilians that have continued into January.

Attacks have been accompanied by higher turnout in popular demonstrations, where several participants have been killed in both the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

Nineteen Palestinians were killed in the last two weeks of December alone, six of whom died after being shot by Israeli forces during demonstrations.

Palestinian leadership has yet to condemn the individual attacks but has criticized Israel for its response to the recent violence, including the implementation of measures that critics have argued operate as collective punishment.

The circumstances of several Palestinian deaths have been disputed, with investigations by rights groups into a number of cases concluding that Israeli forces were implementing extrajudicial executions against Palestinians who posed no threat at the time of their death.

Israeli security officials earlier this week praised the Palestinian Authority for decrease in "incitement" against Israel, which according to Israeli daily Haaretz included accusing Israeli forces of extrajudicial execution.
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