Israel, Palestinians at odds over deadly West Bank shooting
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel and the Palestinians presented competing demands after Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian early Tuesday at a temporary vehicle checkpoint in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem.
The army said soldiers foiled an attempted ram attack in the village of Bir Nabala. But the man’s wife, who was in the car with him and was injured by the gunfire, said the couple followed the soldiers’ instructions and posed no threat.
Palestinian assailants have carried out a series of car-ramming attacks in recent years, often targeting soldiers in the occupied West Bank. But rights groups say Israeli troops often use excessive force or, in some cases, kill innocent people falsely identified as attackers.
The IDF said the soldiers had set up a temporary checkpoint in order to conduct an operation in the area. He said the vehicle stopped at the checkpoint and then accelerated towards the troops “in a way that endangered the lives of the soldiers.”
“The soldiers retaliated with fire in order to thwart the threat,” he said, adding that no Israeli soldiers were injured.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank, identified the deceased as Osama Mansour, 42, and said the soldiers opened fire “for no reason” after passing the vehicle through the checkpoint. He condemned what he called a “heinous crime”.
Mansour’s wife, Sumaya, was injured and taken to hospital, where she described the shooting in an interview broadcast by Palestine TV.
She said they were ordered to stop and did so, even turning off the car’s ignition. She said a soldier then waved them through, at which point they started the car and moved forward.
“They started shooting at us,” she said. “My husband fell on my knees and was killed.
The military did not respond to a request for comment on its allegations, saying only that the incident was under investigation.
Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 war and the Palestinians want it to be the main part of their future state. There have been no substantive peace talks for over a decade.