One Palestinian was killed and another was critically wounded Wednesday by live Israeli gunfire in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah reported.
The two were shot while driving their car in the city's entrance and were evacuated to the Beit Jala Hospital, the report said. One of the men, Ahmed Jamal Manasra, 26, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Earlier on Wednesday, Palestinian groups in the West Bank have called for a "day of rage" to be held on Friday after three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces overnight Tuesday – two of them shot after throwing explosive devices at soldiers guarding a holy site in Nablus, and the third, suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting attack this week, shot north of Ramallah.
In an announcement on Wednesday, Fatah and other Palestinian factions called for a period of mourning to be declared throughout the West Bank and for crowds to go to points of friction with Israeli soldiers and settlers. West Bank residents were urged to protest at the Beit El checkpoint on Wednesday, while a demonstration at Ramallah's Al-Manara is planned on Thursday.
Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh also said Wednesday that Gaza is preparing for hundreds of thousands to march on the one-year anniversary of the border protests on March 30.
Fourteen Palestinians were lightly wounded Wednesday morning from rubber-tipped bullets and tear gas inhalation during a protest near the Beit El checkpost. Another demonstration is expected to take place Thursday in Ramallah.
General strikes were announced by residents of the West Bank city of Salfit, as well as student organizations, who joined the protests over the killing of Palestinians.
Calls for a "day of rage" are not irregular, and developments over the weekend depend on how much Palestinian security forces will allow protesters to approach friction points with the Israeli army.
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