Israeli forces kill Palestinian man returning home from work

Israeli forces kill Palestinian man returning home from work in West Bank
2 min read
28 July, 2021
Israeli forces killed the man as entered the village on his return from work, Beita deputy mayor Mussa Hamayel said, adding that "he was killed in cold blood".
Israeli forces killed the man as entered the village on his return from work [Getty]

A Palestinian man was killed late on Tuesday in Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, the scene of Israeli violence against Palestinian locals protesting Israeli settlements for weeks.

Shadi Omar Lotfi Salim, 41, was shot dead near the flashpoint Palestinian village of Beita, the Palestinian health ministry said. 

Israeli forces killed the man as he entered the village on his return from work, Beita deputy mayor Mussa Hamayel said.

"He was killed in cold blood," the deputy mayor alleged, adding that there had been no protests in the area Tuesday night.

The Israeli army issued a statement alleging that while on routine duty soldiers "spotted a Palestinian suspect in the area," south of Nablus. 

"When the Palestinian began advancing rapidly towards the troop with a suspicious object identified as an iron bar in his hand, the troop operated to stop the suspect following the standard procedures, including by firing warning shots into the air," Israeli forces alleged in a statement.

"When the suspect continued advancing, the commander of the troop fired towards the suspect. The incident will be investigated," it said.

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Rights groups have repeatedly accused Israeli forces of using "unnecessary and excessive force" and carrying out extrajudicial killings against Palestinians.

The impunity of Israeli forces who use excessive force against Palestinians has been a contentious issue in recent years.

The highest profile case has been that of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who received a 14-month prison sentence in September 2017 for manslaughter after shooting 21-year-old Abdul Fatah al-Sharif in the head as he lay wounded on the ground, killing him.

 

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Beita has been the scene of frequent unrest since May, when dozens of Jewish settler families arrived and began building the wildcat settlement of Eviatar on a hilltop near Nablus in defiance of both Israeli and international law.

After weeks of clashes and tensions, the government of nationalist Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett struck a deal with the settlers that saw them leave the Eviatar outpost.

The settlers left behind the rudimentary homes they built until the Israeli defence ministry determines whether the land can be considered state territory.

The Israeli military is maintaining a presence in Eviatar until the decision is made.

The agreement was rejected by the mayor of Beita, who said last Thursday that "clashes and protests will continue" as long as any Israeli remains on Palestinian land.

All Jewish settlements in the West Bank are regarded as illegal by most of the international community.