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Israeli colonist shoots dead Palestinian

Muataz Bani Shemsay, 23, from a village near Nablus was shot dead near an Israeli military checkpoint

Image Credit: AFP
Palestinians kneel by a wounded journalist (back) and a dead man who according to Palestinian officials was killed by Israeli settlers during clashes near the Hawara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank on May 18, 2017.
Gulf News

Nablus: A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli colonist on Thursday during a clash near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry and security sources said.

The clash near a military post erupted when an Israeli colonist in a car attempted to cross a crowd of Palestinian protesters, with the colonist and Israeli occupation soldiers opening fire, Palestinian security sources said.

The Palestinian killed was identified by the health ministry as Muataz Bani Shemsay, 23, from a village near Nablus. He was shot in the head, it said.

An AP photographer was also wounded by gunfire but was in stable condition, medics said.

Hundreds of Palestinians had gathered at an Israeli military checkpoint at Huwara, south of Nablus and the regular site of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian stone-throwers.

The protest was held in support of hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17.

An Israeli colonist attempted to drive through the crowd, the security sources said, and was surrounded by protesters who threw stones at the car.

He then exited the car and opened fire along with soldiers who were deployed at the scene, according to the sources.

Since October 2015, Israel and the Palestinian territories have been rocked by a wave of violence due to an uptick in Jewish raids on Al Haram Al Sharif.

Palestinians fear that the decades-old status quo at the holy shrine of Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem will be shattered by far right Jewish groups, which advocate for Jewish worshipping rights.

Jews are allowed to visit the shrine, but are strictly banned from praying there. Israel captured and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967, but the move has never been recognised by the international community.

More recently, protesters have focused their anger on inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

They are protesting to show solidarity with the hundreds of prisoners who have been on hunger strike since April 17.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says 310 Palestinians have been killed, 63 of them from occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces or colonists often shoot Palestinians dead under the pretext that they are ‘attackers’.

However, Israeli extrajudicial killings have been widely documented where the regime soldiers shoot dead Palestinians posing no threat to them and then frame them later by placing weapons on their body.

The United Nations has condemned these killings.