Israelis shoot dead a Palestinian at checkpoint

AFP and Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Jan 2011

Israeli troops shot dead at a checkpoint a young Palestinian reportedly affiliated with Islamic Jihad

Israeli soldiers stand next to the body of the Palestinian they killed at a West Bank checkpoint near the city of Nablus 8 January 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli troops shot dead a young Palestinian on Saturday as he ran toward a checkpoint in the West Bank shouting "God is greatest," Palestinian and Israeli officials said.

Palestinian witnesses told AFP that Khaldun Samudi, 23, was hit by several bullets as he was running toward an Israeli checkpoint east of Nablus shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

According to Palestinian security officials, Samudi was a member of the Islamic Jihad, in the northern West Bank town of Jenin. He was the fourth Palestinian killed in there in a week.

The Israeli military said its forces shot and killed Samudi as he ran towards the checkpoint "carrying two explosive devices and a knife."

The Palestinian had emerged from a taxi and headed towards soldiers manning the checkpoint, shouting "God is greatest," according to a military spokesman.

He ignored their orders to stop before they opened fire on him, the spokesman said, adding the military then sent in bomb to disposal experts to defuse the explosive devices he was reportedly carrying.

The body of a naked man was seen being taken away from the scene in an ambulance.

Palestinian security forces spokesman General Adnan Zamiri condemned "this latest crime by the Israeli occupiers who want to push the Palestinians into confrontation."

On 2 January, another Palestinian man was killed by Israeli troops at the same checkpoint.

Tensions have been running high in the West Bank between Israelis and Palestinians following violent deaths in the occupied Palestine.

On Friday, Israeli troops in Hebron murdered an elderly Palestinian civilian in a case of mistaken identity as they presumably hunted for a member of the Islamist movement Hamas freed a day earlier by the Palestinian authorities.

And a Palestinian woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma, died a week earlier after inhaling massive amounts of tear gas fired by Israeli troops at a demonstration against Israel's separation barrier, Israeli and Palestinian activists said.

The Israeli army cast doubt on the authenticity of that version and ordered an investigation.

Elsewhere on Saturday, a mortar round fired from Gaza wounded two foreign workers and damaged a building at a kibbutz, military radio said.

It did not give their nationality but said two other rounds also exploded in fields, without further casualties.

On Friday, an Israeli soldier was killed and four were wounded in an accidental explosion as they tried to aim a mortar at Palestinian resistance fighters, an army spokesman said.

A unit came across three "terrorists" apparently trying to place explosive devices near the security barrier that separates Gaza from Israel, he said.

They opened fire but for an "unknown reason" a mortar they tried to fire exploded "accidentally" killing one soldier and wounding four others, including an officer, the spokesman said.

According to army figures, the Palestinian resistance in Gaza fired about 230 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel last year.


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