Israeli-Palestinian violence surges ahead of Netanyahu-Biden meeting

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JENIN, West Bank, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Israeli troops killed a 19-year-old Palestinian during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, medics and residents said, as violence surged ahead of a first meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden.

Security in the West Bank, among areas where Palestinians seek statehood, has deteriorated amid an almost decade-old impasse in U.S.-sponsored peacemaking, the rise of Netanyahu’s hard-right government and an entrenchment of Islamist militants.

The Palestinian killed near the town of Jericho was shot as troops faced off with stone-throwers, according to residents, though his family said he had not taken part. He was the sixth Palestinian killed in confrontations with Israel since Tuesday.

The army said it carried out the raid to arrest suspected militants, and fired on several bomb-throwing Palestinians, hitting one of them. There was no word of Israeli casualties.

Since regaining power last December at the head of a religious-nationalist coalition, Netanyahu’s relations with Biden have been strained. Israel’s U.S. ally is troubled by his judicial overhaul plans and Jewish settlement of the West Bank.

Not yet invited to Biden’s White House, Netanyahu will meet the president on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

In his speech to the forum on Tuesday, Biden promoted U.S. efforts to normalise relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Biden also said his administration “continue(s) to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between… the Israelis and Palestinians — two states for two people”.

Members of Al Qassam brigades attend a funeral at Jenin refugee camp, West Bank, 20 September 2023. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least six Palestinians were killed during overnight Israeli military operations in the West Bank and a separate incident during unrest in the Gaza Strip on 20 September. According to Palestinian officials, four people were killed in Jenin, one in Jericho, and one in Gaza. EPA-EFE/ALAA BADARNEH

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