Israeli airstrike kills fighters in Gaza

Photo:  Israeli airstrike kills fighters in Gaza  / Israel-Arab Relations

An Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip has killed three Palestinians who were associated with Islamic Jihad, the group said Al Jazeera reported.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on Tuesday's attack, which Islamic Jihad said in a statement targeted its members as they "resisted an Israeli military incursion" into Rafah, a town bordering Egypt.

The attack comes after a Palestinian man died following a car chase with Israeli police near Tulkarem in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources said on Tuesday.

Another Palestinian, a 20-year-old student, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Ramallah on Monday night, the Israeli military confirmed.

Fida Majadleh was killed after his car veered off the road near Jbara checkpoint, south of Tulkarem, during the chase, according to [Arabic] Tulkarem Governor Abdullah Kamil.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli army, but the police described the incident as a traffic accident, and said Majadleh's car, which was stolen from Israel, hit another vehicle.

Late on Monday night, 20-year-old Saji Darwish, a second year student at Birzeit University, was shot near Ramallah. Clashes following his death left five Palestinians wounded.

The Israeli army said he was part of a group of Palestinians throwing stones at settler cars between the villages of Beiten and Deir Debwan, just outside of Ramallah.

'Dangerous provocation'

A Palestinian Authority spokesperson said the "latest Israeli escalation can lead to the situation spiralling out of control".

In a statement [Ar] to the media, Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the deaths constituted "a dangerous provocation that will torpedo what's left of the peace process".

He urged the US or the Quartet (made up of the UN, the US, the EU, and Russia) to intervene.

Protests erupted near the Israeli embassy in the capital of Jordan on Tuesday in response to the killing of a Jordanian-Palestinian judge at the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan on Monday. After a preliminary investigation, Israel said he had tried to snatch a weapon from a soldier and strangle him.

Last month, Amnesty International published a report which said Israeli forces were using excessive violence in the occupied West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what the rights group said might constitute a war crime.

The West Bank-focused study said more Palestinians were killed in 2013 than the two previous years combined. It also said the Palestinians did not appear to be posing any imminent threat to life in the cases that were reviewed.

The Israeli army dismissed the criticism, saying security forces had responded to an increase in Palestinian violence.

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