Israel army kills Palestinian accused of throwing Molotov cocktail

Israeli authorities are withholding the man’s body, prompting Ramallah residents to hold a general strike to pay tribute.

Israeli army soldiers block a road, after a shooting attack, at Tekoa Junction near Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, July 16, 2023.
Israeli soldiers cordon off the scene after the shooting in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [File: Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

Israeli soldiers have shot and killed at least one Palestinian man in the West Bank in the latest violence in the occupied territories.

Muhammad Rumaneh from the Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah was killed late on Friday, his death prompting a general strike there on Saturday.

The Israeli army said Rumaneh and another man threw Molotov cocktails at an army post near Ramallah. The condition of the other Palestinian was unclear.

“Soldiers conducting routine activity at the scene identified the suspects and responded with live fire. Two assailants were neutralised and transferred to receive medical treatment,” the army said.

Israeli soldiers opened fire at the pair’s car, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Palestine Red Crescent said the army did not allow its ambulances to come to the aid of the two after they were shot, and Rumaneh later died of his wounds, reported Wafa. Hamas said Rumaneh was a member.

Israeli authorities are withholding his body. Unable, therefore, to hold a funeral for the young man, residents of Ramallah called for a general strike to pay tribute to him.

Shops and businesses were closed and students stayed home, Wafa reported. Student groups at Birzeit University also called off Sunday classes.

Israeli officials have suggested in the past that holding onto the bodies of Palestinians slain in security incidents can deter attacks and prevent the exaltation of assailants at funerals that often draw giant crowds.

Violence in the West Bank has intensified in the last year as Israel has stepped up its near-nightly raids. The number of settler assaults on Palestinian villages has also surged.

In the past week alone, a Palestinian teenager was shot in Jenin, while six other Palestinians were killed during two separate raids in the illegally occupied territory.

The United Nations has said 2023 is the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting fatalities in 2006.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the year, according to the health ministry. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed at least 30 people since the start of 2023.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies