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Palestinian protesters in Nablus in the West Bank. Photo: Ayman Nobani/Xinhua via Getty Images

As the Gaza crisis has raged on, the most serious clashes in years between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli military in the West Bank have broken out.

Why it matters: Israel is concerned that further escalation in the West Bank could turn into a third intifada. The Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising against Israel, lasted from 2000 to 2005 and left about 1,000 Israelis and over 3,000 Palestinians dead.

Driving the news: Thousands of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers on Tuesday in several locations in the West Bank.

  • At least four Palestinians were killed on Tuesday and 15 since the clashes began, Palestinian health officials say.
  • Hamas leaders in Gaza and in exile have called on the Palestinian public to join the demonstrations in an apparent attempt to boost the group's standing in the West Bank.
  • While fueled by the events in Gaza, the latest escalation is also part of a decades-long resistance to Israel’s occupation in the West Bank.

In most cases, the protesters have thrown stones and burned tires, but there were reports on Tuesday of shots fired at Israeli soldiers. Israeli troops fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and in some cases live ammunition.

  • In one case in Ramallah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the military wing of Fatah — was responsible for the shooting, Lebanese media reported.
  • Armed militiaman associated with the group — the largest militia in the West Bank — have been repeatedly spotted in the West Bank in recent days.

What to watch: The militia group had been inactive for more than a decade, during which time many of its members joined the Palestinian Authority security forces or got jobs in civilian government ministries.

  • A reemergence of this militia could lead to a serious escalation in the West Bank. 

Go deeper: Palestinians strike across occupied territories, Israel in show of unity

Go deeper

Aug 25, 2021 - World

World Bank suspends aid to Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

Taliban fighters in a vehicle patrol the streets of Kabul on August 23, 2021. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

The World Bank has suspended financial aid to Afghanistan, citing concerns over how the Taliban's takeover will impact "the country's development prospects, especially for women," the BBC reports.

Driving the news: "We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures," a World Bank spokesperson told the BBC.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

5 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.

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