Palestinian killed by Israeli army in West Bank

Protester shot dead in a clash between soldiers and Palestinians demonstrating against illegal settlements.

An elderly Palestinian reacts during a rally protesting the confiscation of land for the Israeli settlement of Karmel in the occupied West Bank [Hazem Bader/AFP]

Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian protester during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Friday.

A group of Palestinians threw stones towards two Israeli soldiers and the troops then opened fire, reported a photographer with Reuters news agency. A group of Palestinians carried the man away.

“A citizen who was shot in the head with live ammunition died,” the Palestinian health ministry said, adding the incident happened in the village of Beit Dajan, near Nablus.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the report.

Atef Yussef Hanaysheh, 42, was killed in a clash between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli settlement activity, said Beit Dajan Mayor Abdelrahman Hanani.

“The soldiers fired when we approached a wildcat settlement near the village,” said Hanani.

Palestinians gather on Fridays across the West Bank to protest the expansion of Israeli settlements, which are deemed illegal under international law.

The Israeli military said “dozens of Palestinian rioters hurled rocks” at its troops who “responded with riot dispersal means and by firing into the air”.

“We are aware of reports regarding a Palestinian casualty. The cause of the injury is still unknown. The incident is being examined,” it said.

A man shouts for help as the wounded Palestinian man lies on the ground on Friday [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

Live ammunition

West Bank demonstrations often turn violent with Palestinian protesters hurling rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces who fire tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and sometimes live ammunition to disperse them.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.

Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in around more than 200 settlements and dozens of unauthorised outposts scattered across the Palestinian territories.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The Palestinians, who have limited self-rule in the West Bank, say Israel’s settlements deny them a viable state. Most countries view the settlements as illegal under international law.

Israel disputes this, citing “security” needs, as well as biblical and historical ties to the land. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

Source: News Agencies