Hundreds of Palestinians across the West Bank protested in support of Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike, whom are incarcerated in Israeli jails for terror related offenses, after the man leading the strike, Marwan Barghouti threatened to further escalate their protest, if their list of demands was not met by Israeli Authorities.
Barghouti, who is a senior official of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fattah movement who was convicted of numerous suicide bombings against both Israeli civilians and military targets, is leading the hunger strike from solitary confinement since it began almost a month ago, with only representatives of the Red Cross and his attorney permitted to visit him.
During one of the protests, in the village of Hawara near the West Bank city of Nablus, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces when the violent demonstrators blocked a main road that is used by both Palestinians and Israelis. According to reports, an Israeli settler who was driving to his home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, was forced to a halt in the middle of the blocked road, next to an ambulance, when the Palestinian protesters started to bombard his vehicle with rocks.
In a video obtained by TV7, the Israeli driver could be seen inside his vehicle, drawing a handgun and firing toward the side of the road. One Palestinian protester was killed during this incident and a photojournalist was injured from gun wounds. The Israeli settler managed to flee the scene of the incident, after which he arrived at a police station accompanied by a lawyer to submit testimony.
The driver, a father of eight children, felt that his life was in danger, thus opened fire in self-defense. In contrast to the Israeli drivers’ testimony, Palestinian eyewitnesses said, the settler shot the two Palestinians, one of whom was a photojournalist, and drove into three others during his flight, after encountering Palestinians marching in support of the hunger striking prisoners.
In response to the deadly incident, a strong condemnation was voiced by the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, urging Israeli authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and called for the settler to be indicted.