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Palestinians protest as Israel besieges East Jerusalem refugee camp

Hundreds of people have protested at checkpoints into a refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem and
clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops broke
out across the West Bank, with a Palestinian teenager killed by Israelis near the southern city of Hebron.

Palestine’s Health Ministry identified the victim as 18-year-old Osama Adawi, who was shot in the abdomen on Wednesday. He was among the more than 100 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank so far in 2022 — the worst spasm of violence in seven years.

Wednesday’s protests erupted as security forces continued a
hunt for the gunman who shot an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint into the Shuafat refugee camp, a heavily
built-up area on the northern outskirts of occupied East Jerusalem that is
home to an estimated 60,000 people.

The area has been blockaded for days as police have imposed
strict vehicle checks and combed through streets and houses
looking for the shooter.

On Wednesday, long lines of cars formed at checkpoints
leading out of the area while groups of youths hurled stones at
police and set fire to rubbish containers, sending plumes of
black smoke billowing into the sky.

Clashes also broke out in cities across the occupied West Bank,
including Bethlehem and Nablus, where Israeli forces blocked
roads into the city.

Around the southern city of Hebron, Israeli troops opened
fire on protesters at a highway, hitting at
least one person.

READ MORE: Israeli troops kill teens, wound dozens in Palestine’s West Bank

Solidarity with Shuafat refugee camp

The army operations and frequent confrontations between
Palestinians and Israeli illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank have fuelled
increasing anger among young Palestinians who have hurled rocks
and Molotov cocktails at the occupying troops.

Many shops in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank were
closed on Wednesday as a mark of protest, while private schools
also told pupils to stay at home.

“The strike is in solidarity with Shuafat refugee camp and
how it is being dealt with,” said resident Khaled

“It looks like it will be the start of a civil
disobedience (campaign), and let us hope for the best.”

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, said President Mahmoud Abbas continued “intensive contacts” to de-escalate the situation and warned that Israeli provocations “will bring the region to the brink of an explosion.”

Israel captured the West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and Gaza, in the 1967 Mideast war. 

The West Bank is now home to roughly 500,000 illegal Israeli settlers. The international community widely considers the settlements an obstacle to peace.

READ MORE: US, Palestine discuss commitment to two states based on ‘pre-1967 lines’

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