Is­raeli forces shoot and kill Palestine at­tacker in W. Bank

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY TIA GOLDENBERG

Is­raeli forces shot and killed a Pales­tinian af­ter he stabbed an Is­raeli po­lice of­fi­cer at a West Bank check­point on Mon­day, the latest in a se­ries of re­cent stab­bing at­tacks that have es­ca­lated ten­sions in the re­gion.

Is­rael’s Supreme Court, mean­while, post­poned for two days a rul­ing in the case of a Pales­tinian hunger-strik­ing pris­oner who slipped into un­con­scious­ness last week, af­ter his lawyer pe­ti­tioned the court to free his client on health grounds.

In Mon­day’s at­tack, po­lice spokes­woman Luba Samri said the Pales­tinian as­sailant ap­proached the check­point, telling po­lice of­fi­cers there that he felt un­well. As he got closer, he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the of­fi­cers, slightly wound­ing him. Another of­fi­cer then fa­tally shot the at­tacker, a man in his 20s, Samri said.

The at­tack was the third stab­bing since Satur­day, when two Pales­tini­ans were shot, one fa­tally, af­ter they at­tacked se­cu­rity forces in two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in the West Bank. A Pales­tinian as­sailant was also shot dead in another West Bank stab­bing ear­lier this month.

Ten­sions have been high since the July ar­son at­tack against a Pales­tinian West Bank home, when an 18-month-old tod­dler was burned to death. The child’s fa­ther later died from wounds he suf­fered in the at­tack while his mother and 4-year-old brother were se­ri­ously wounded.

Both Pales­tini­ans and Is­raelis have been closely watch­ing the fate of a Pales­tinian pris­oner, Mo­hammed Allan, who has been on a hunger strike for 63 days in protest of his de­ten­tion with­out charge.

Is­rael’s Supreme Court on Mon­day post­poned a de­ci­sion on whether to free Allan, whose health has sharply de­te­ri­o­rated. His lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib, pe­ti­tioned the court for his re­lease.

Judge Elyakim Ru­bin­stein said the court would come to a de­ci­sion Wed­nes­day, un­less Allan’s health wors­ened fur­ther. Ru­bin­stein urged the sides to reach a com­pro­mise on the mat­ter, which has forced ten­sions to flare and sparked a de­bate in Is­rael over the ethics of the coun­try’s new force­feed­ing law.

Is­rael told the court that it would be will­ing to free Allan if he agreed to leave the coun­try and not re­turn for four years. Allan’s lawyer re­jected the of­fer.

Is­rael says Allan is be­ing held for his ac­tiv­i­ties with the Is­lamic Ji­had, a Pales­tinian mil­i­tant group that has car­ried out nu­mer­ous vi­o­lent at­tacks against civil­ians. Allan, who slipped into un­con­scious­ness Fri­day, is be­ing treated in an Is­raeli hos­pi­tal. Since then, oc­ca­sional scuf­fles have bro­ken out be­tween po­lice and protests — both Allan op­po­nents and sup­port­ers — out­side the hos­pi­tal.

Allan’s case may test a new Is­raeli law that al­lows a judge to sanc­tion force-feed­ing or ad­min­is­tra­tion of med­i­cal treat­ment to pris­on­ers on hunger strike, if there is a threat to the in­mate’s life. But it’s still un­clear if the con­tentious pro­ce­dure will be car­ried out in Allan’s case.

Is­rael says the law is needed to de­ter Pales­tinian de­tainees from hunger strikes to pres­sure Is­rael for their re­lease or other de­mands. Is­rael fears the death of a pris­oner on a hunger strike could trig­ger Pales­tinian un­rest amid the stalled peace ne­go­ti­a­tions. Crit­ics of the new law say force-feed­ing amounts to tor­ture.

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