Israeli forces fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters as stabbing attacks continue (VIDEO)

Israeli authorities have fired tear gas at Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem, with a young boy being injured in the clashes. The unrest comes as thousands gather in the city for the funeral of Mutaz Zawahreh, who was killed by Israeli forces on Tuesday.

Video footage shows tanks firing tear gas while armed soldiers stand guard. Palestinian protesters can be seen throwing stones as clouds of smoke rise from the pavement.

It's the latest set of clashes between Palestinian civilians and Israeli forces, following similar unrest, which has been an almost daily occurrence near the separation wall in Bethlehem over the past week, Ma'an news agency reported.

Ongoing clashes have also been taking place throughout the rest of the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Also on Wednesday, a man was shot dead by Israeli police after rushing past a checkpoint near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

Another person was killed by Israeli forces after he stabbed a woman near the city's Central Bus Station. He then tried to board a nearby bus, but was shot by officers. 

It came as hundreds of Israeli troops were deployed to bolster police forces on Wednesday, following steps taken by Israel’s security cabinet.

Those measures included enlarging the operational police force, revoking the permanent residency rights of "terrorists," authorizing police to surround "centers of friction and incitement," and deploying military units to reinforce police on cities and roads. Checkpionts were also set up in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem on Wednesday. 

Funeral for Palestinian protester

The demonstration and shooting come a day after 27-year-old Palestinian Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh, from the Duheisha refugee camp, was shot in the chest by Israeli forces during a protest at the northern entrance of Bethlehem. Zawahreh later died in hospital.

In an apparent reference to the attack, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that forces “thwarted an attack” by a “Palestinian perpetrator” who attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail at them.

Thousands gathered for Zawahreh's funeral on Wednesday, marching through Bethlehem and waving Palestinian flags.

Zawahreh is one of 30 Palestinians who have been killed in the occupied territory by Israeli forces since October 1, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Seventeen of those were killed during clashes. Thirty-three Palestinians were injured on Tuesday alone, nine with live fire, in the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Hebron.

On Monday, the UN agency for refugees condemned the “widespread loss of civilian life” across the occupied territory, warning that Israeli was violating international law through the excessive use of firearms in the occupied area.

"Across the occupied Palestinian territory there is a pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair resulting from the denial of rights and dignity,” the agency said.

Stabbings in Israel continue

Meanwhile, tensions in the region continue to mount amid a spate of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. At least one person was stabbed on Wednesday. 

Multiple terror attacks in Jerusalem and Raanana left three Israelis dead and over 20 wounded on Tuesday. Two Palestinians armed with a knife and a gun launched an attack on a Jerusalem bus, killing two, while an almost simultaneous attack in the city saw an assailant ram a car into a bus stop before stabbing bystanders. There were two reported attacks in Raanana.

The Tuesday attacks prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call an emergency meeting of his security cabinet.

“Israel will settle scores with those who are killing and those who are encouraging them. Anyone who raises their hand against us will have their hand cut off,” Netanyahu said during the meeting.


The numerous stabbings, which have become an almost daily occurrence, inspired an #IsraeliLivesMatter protest in London on Tuesday, which condemned “Palestinian incitement.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday linked the growing violence in Israel to “frustrations” among Palestinians who are exasperated at the “massive increase in settlements" built by the Israeli government.