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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in Nabi Saleh

Saba Nidal Obaid, 20, was shot in the stomach while at demonstrations in support of 1,500 Palestinians on hunger strike.

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Approximately 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners are on their fourth week of a hunger strike [Reuters]

Approximately 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners are on their fourth week of a hunger strike [Reuters]

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian youth and wounded more than 10 others during clashes in the occupied West Bank, according to officials and health workers.

Saba Nidal Obaid, 20, was shot in the stomach near the village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, during a protest on Friday in support of the 1,500 Palestinians on hunger strike across Israeli prisons.

Obaid later died in a nearby hospital, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.

His funeral was scheduled to take place later on Friday, Basem al-Tamimi, an activist present at the protest, told Al Jazeera from Nabi Saleh.

“We are on our way to attend the funeral of the martyred Obaid and are expecting thousands of people to turn up,” said Tamimi.

“We got to the demonstration before Friday prayers. After the prayers, Israeli forces started using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition at the protesters.

“In addition to Obaid, three other protesters were shot by the Israeli forces – two were wounded by rubber bullets while the third was injured by live ammo.”

Clashes were also reported near the Beita junction and Beit Furik checkpoint on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Red Crescent told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces were not letting ambulances through in Nabi Saleh and most of the wounded were taken to hospitals in private cars.

“It wasn’t easy for us to get through,” said spokesperson Arab Faqha, adding that Israeli forces even tried arresting one of the injured from the ambulances before letting the vehicle through.

“In Beit Furik, we also treated 10 people. Two of our ambulances were also attacked by the Israeli forces who shot rubber bullets and shattered one of the windows. One of the ambulances was carrying an injured demonstrator to the hospital.”

According to Ma’an news agency, Obaid is the 21st Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017.

Speaking to Ma’an, an Israeli army spokesperson acknowledged that the Israeli army had used live ammunition on a group of protesters “throwing rocks in Nabi Saleh”.

Hunger strike

Approximately 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners are on their fourth week of a hunger strike, risking their lives in hopes of gaining basic rights in Israeli jails.

Spread across several prisons in Israel, Palestinian prisoners embarked on the dangerous journey of an open-ended fast to pressure Israel – which is responsible under international law for the well-being of all persons in its custody – to improve prison conditions.

The prisoners are surviving on salt water only.

Credit to Al Jazeera

Middle East

UN appeals for countries to take in 1,300 Libyan refugees

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Libyan refugees

The UN has appealed to countries worldwide to take in 1,300 mainly African refugees stranded in Libya. Many of them were mistreated while being detained appalling conditions.

Niger has agreed to temporarily host the most vulnerable of the evacuees, including unaccompanied children and single mothers, pending their processing and departure for resettlement, Reuters said.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Monday that it “urgently requests 1,300 places for resettlement” to be made available by the end of March. The UNHCR intends to evacuate between 700 and 1,300 people from Libya to Niger by the end of January 2018.

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Middle East

‘Don’t buy from Arabs’, says Israeli Defense Minister

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Avigdor Lieberman

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called on his fellow citizens to boycott the Palestinian market of the Wadi Ara region of north-east Israel, after riots broke out there on Saturday over the American decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem.

Three people were injured when protesters began hurling stones at a bus. “I am calling for a boycott of Wadi Ara. Don’t go there and don’t buy there. They need to understand that it is impossible to demonstrate with Hezbollah flags, Palestinian flags and pictures of [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah.

To accept billions from the National Insurance [Institute] and to also destroy us from within,” Haaretz quoted Lieberman telling Army Radio.

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Middle East

Hamas leader calls for ‘new intifada in the face of Israel’

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Ismail Haniyeh

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has called for a new uprising against Israel following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state.

“We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in a speech in Gaza Thursday, Reuters reports.

Anti-US protests erupted almost immediately after Trump’s declaration Wednesday, with Palestinians first to take to the streets, calling for three days of rage against the move.

World leaders expressed serious concern over the decision and its potential to destabilize the region.

The decision has been welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked Trump, and said he be believes “many” other nations will follow suit in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pope Francis said he could not “remain silent” and spoke of his “great anxiety” surrounding the decision, while the EU voiced “serious concern.”

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,”Francis said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

“Jerusalem is a unique city,” he added, “sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.”

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