A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, marking the fourth Palestinian killed in 24 hours.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its crew treated a man with two bullet wounds at an Israeli military checkpoint near the city of Bethlehem on Wednesday and that Israeli forces had shot him.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as 26-year-old Ahmad Manasra from the village of Wadi Fuqin near Bethlehem.
Manasra, the ministry said, was shot in the chest, shoulder and hand by the al-Nashash checkpoint at the southern entrance of al-Khader village. Another Palestinian had also been shot and critically wounded.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint fired live bullets at a Palestinian man’s car, who was with his wife and children. The man, identified as Alaa Ghayatha from the village of Nahalin, was shot in the abdomen.
Manasra, who was driving the vehicle directly behind Ghayatha, got out of his car to help Ghayatha who was admitted to the al-Yamama Hospital in critical condition. As Manasra returned to his car, Israeli soldiers shot at him directly.
Kamel Hamid, the governor of Bethlehem, later told Palestinian local news that what happened was a direct execution of a young man, and called on the international community to intervene to put an end to the Israeli occupation.
Israeli army ‘reviewing’ incident
Hours later, the Israeli military issued a statement saying a soldier stationed at a post near Bethlehem had “identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles [and] in response, he fired his weapon”.
The statement did not identify the soldier’s intended target and some Israeli media reports said warning shots were fired in the air.
“A report was received regarding injured Palestinians,” the military said. “Details regarding the incident are being reviewed and the incident will be examined.”
Manasra’s death marks the fourth Palestinian killed in 24 hours in the occupied West Bank. On Tuesday night, Israeli forces killed the alleged assailant who had killed an Israeli soldier and a rabbi in a stabbing and shooting attack on Sunday.
Omar Abu Leila, 19, was killed near the West Bank city of Ramallah after he opened fire at troops who had come to arrest him, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said.
In a separate incident on Tuesday, two other Palestinians, Raed Hamdan, 21 and Zaid Nouri, 20 were killed by Israeli forces as they were driving their car near the West Bank city of Nablus.