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20 Oct, 2015 18:53

Tear gas used as Palestinians, IDF clash in West Bank amid spiking violence (VIDEO)

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has deployed tear gas against Palestinian demonstrators who had been throwing stones in the West Bank city of Ramallah. This month has seen about 10 Israelis and over 40 Palestinians killed in amid escalating tensions.

RT correspondent Paula Slier and her crew filmed a group of Palestinian stone-throwers who were forced to retreat by IDF soldiers in Ramallah. Slier had to don a gas mask as the Israeli troops used tear gas against the Palestinians.

“I have a gas mask on because they [IDF soldiers] have been firing tear gas,” Paula Slier said sitting behind the Palestinian barricades in Ramallah on Tuesday.

The wave of violence has erupted in the three weeks following a fresh dispute over the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which is located on the Temple Mount and is considered a major holy site by both Islam and Judaism. Protests, attacks, and clashes have been occurring every day – Tuesday alone witnessed at least four such incidents.

Two Palestinians were shot dead after an attempted stabbing near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron. One IDF soldier received a slight head wound in the attack. Palestinians started to fire tires nearby after the incident.

One more Palestinian was killed and three were wounded during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops along the Gaza border fence close to the Bureij refugee camp, Ynet News reported.

Earlier, a man tried to ram a group of pedestrian with a car and then got out and tried to stab them. The attack took place near Gush Etzion, a cluster of Jewish communities located southeast of Jerusalem.

“A civilian and soldier were both injured and evacuated for medical treatment. Security forces on scene shot the attacker,” the IDF said, as cited by Times of Israel.

Another attack took place near the city of Hebron where an Israeli man was stoned and run over with a truck. Israeli police managed to catch the assailant.

Another incident near Hebron took place earlier in the morning, when an IDF soldier was stabbed and lightly wounded by an attacker who was later shot dead.

About 10 Israelis and over 40 Palestinians have been killed in the escalation in violence, mostly in stabbing attacks and protests. Many of those killed have been Palestinian assailants who had attacked Israelis with knives, cars, or guns. On Sunday Israeli police mistakenly shot an Eritrean asylum seeker who was taken for a terrorist. The migrant was beaten by bystanders after being shot and later died in the hospital.

Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Israelis not to resort to vigilantism.

“Someone who witnesses an attack needs to leave the scene and allow security and rescue forces to work,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. “We’re a nation of laws. No one may take the law into their hands. That is the first rule.”

In response to attacks, Israeli authorities set up a concrete barrier between a Jewish and an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem, claiming it was meant to prevent rocks and firebombs from being hurled from the Arab side. A week ago Israeli police were also authorized to impose “a closure on, or to surround, centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem, in accordance with security considerations.” The army is being used to support police actions.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on Tuesday in a surprise trip to meet with both sides of the ongoing conflict.

“I know your hopes for peace have been dashed countless times. You are angry at the continued occupation and expansion of settlements. I am not asking you to be passive, but you must put down the weapons of despair,” Ban Ki-moon said to Palestinians in a video address on Monday, as cited by Fox news.

“When children are afraid to go to school, when anyone on the street is a potential victim, security is rightly your immediate priority. But walls, checkpoints, harsh responses by the security forces and house demolitions cannot sustain the peace and safety that you need and must have,” he told Israelis.