Israeli occupation forces stand at the scene after shooting dead a Palestinian at the Tal Rumaida checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron. Image Credit: REUTERS

Ramallah: Israeli occupation forces shot and killed on Saturday a Palestinian while on his way to work in the city of Hebron, south of the West Bank.

The man’s death brought the number of extrajudicial killings committed by Israeli forces up to five in the past 24 hours.

Sources in Hebron told Gulf News that Israeli soldiers shot dead Hatem Abdul Hafiz Al Shaloudi, 25, at the Tal Al Rumaida checkpoint near the city of Hebron.

Israel claims Al Shaloudi attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint, but eyewitnesses speaking to Gulf News contradicted the Israeli version. Ayman Al Qadi, Al Shaloudi’s neighbour, said he was shot dead for no apparent reason while attempting to cross the checkpoint on his way to work.

The checkpoint is the only way out of Hebron after occupation forces have sealed all other exits to the city.

Several hundred Jewish colonists live in a tightly guarded enclave in the heart of the city of more than 200,000 Palestinians, a persistent source of tension.

Also, more than 35,000 Jewish colonists live in 25 colonies around the Hebron region, effectively suffocating its Palestinian residents.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed at the fatal checkpoint in over one year of escalated violence.

A few hours earlier, Israeli forces shot dead 15-year-old Mohammad Kayed Thalji Al Rajabi while he was crossing the same checkpoint.

Israeli forces also claimed Al Rajabi attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.

“Occupation death squads are waging a fierce war against Hebron,” said Abdul Rahman Eskafi, who heads the Prisoners’ Families Committee in Hebron.“Israeli forces are trying to intimidate Palestinians ahead of a string of Jewish festivals set to take place in October,” he added.

The killings come just a day after Israeli forces shot at a Palestinian couple near the entrance of the Jewish colony of Kiryat Araba’a near Hebron. Fares Mousa Mohammad Khadour, 18, was killed on the spot and his fiance, Raghad Abdullah Khadour, was critically injured. Israel claims the couple tried to ram their car into Jewish colonists. Also on Friday, Israeli forces shot dead a Jordanian national at the Damascus Gate of Occupied East Jerusalem.

Saeed Amir, 28, was shot dead after Israeli forces claim he attempted to stab an Israeli police officer, but Palestinians speaking to Gulf News say he was on his way to perform prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque.

On Thursday, Israeli forces shot dead 30-year-old Mohammad Ahmad Abdul Fattah Al Saraheen, at point-blank rage after claiming he resisted arrest in the town of Beit Oula near Hebron.

Palestinian sources speaking to Gulf News say he did not resist arrest.

Two weeks ago, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry asked the US to intervene after the recent spate of Israeli extrajudicial killings.

International legal and human rights organisations have documented Israel’s practice of extrajudicial executions among other crimes contrary to international law.