Ahead of Palestinian elections, West Bank homes of 2 candidates hit by gunfire

Separately, Israel arrests Hamas candidate for parliament, angering terror group

Tensions in the West Bank city of Hebron have risen over the past two days, with the homes of two local politicians sprayed with bullets ahead of the Palestinian legislative elections in May.

Armed gunmen allegedly opened fire on the home and office of parliamentary candidate Hatem Shaheen early on Monday morning. Shaheen, a lawyer, is currently running on a list sponsored by former Fatah security chief Mohammad Dahlan.

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State Dept. confirms US views Israel’s control over West Bank as ‘occupation’

Washington clarifies position after report on human rights situation restores the expression, excised under Trump, but also uses some of previous administration’s terminology

View of the Jewish settlement of Eli, in the West Bank, on January 17, 2021. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden’s administration said Wednesday that Israel’s control of the West Bank is indeed “occupation,” clarifying its stance after the release of a report that seemed to downplay the term, adopting language used by Donald Trump’s government.

The State Department’s annual report on human rights “does use the term ‘occupation’ in the context of the current status of the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

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Uproar as US Ambassador to Israel Twitter account temporarily adds West Bank and Gaza too

The account has been changed back to say only ‘U.S. Ambassador to Israel’

President Joe Biden’s administration quickly came under criticism on Inauguration Day, after the Twitter page for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel was modified during the transition on Wednesday.

The account was temporarily updated to say “U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza” from “U.S. Ambassador to Israel,” which some thought might indicate a massive policy change suggesting the new administration did not count any territories in the West Bank as under Israel’s control.

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