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Palestine accuses Israel of escalating tension in West Bank ahead of Biden's visit

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:50, July 07, 2022

RAMALLAH, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Wednesday accused Israel of escalating tension in the West Bank ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the region on July 13.

"The Israeli occupying power is anticipating the upcoming visit of President Biden to the region with more field executions and an escalation of its aggression against our people," said the Palestinian foreign ministry in a press statement.

The ministry referred to the killing of a 20-year-old Palestinian by Israeli soldiers in a town south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin earlier in the day.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said Rafiq Riyad Ghannam, 20, sustained severe wounds after being shot by Israeli soldiers during confrontations in Jabaa town.

Ghannam was shot as he was standing in front of his family's house before he was detained along with another youth by the heavily-armed soldiers, according to his family.

The family said their son "was deliberately cold-bloodedly murdered by the soldiers, who shot and wrapped his body in black plastic before taking him away."

Holding the Israeli government fully responsible for killing Ghannam, the statement called on the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israel for committing "war crimes."

The Israeli military, however, said in a statement that it had conducted "counterterrorism activity" in Jabaa early on Wednesday, adding the Palestinian young man was "attempting to flee the scene," which prompted the Israeli soldiers to open fire.

The death of Ghannam brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers in the city of Jenin and its refugee camp to 29 this year, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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