Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank near the city of Bethlehem; the fourth such killing in 24 hours.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that one of its crew treated a man with two bullet wounds near an Israeli military checkpoint near Bethlehem yesterday. The man was identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as 26-year-old Ahmad Manasra from the local village of Wadi Fuqin.
According to the ministry, Manasra was shot in the chest, shoulder and hand by a checkpoint at the southern entrance of Al-Khader village, while another Palestinian was also shot and critically wounded.
The Israeli soldier who shot Manasra allegedly did so by accusing him of throwing stones, but eyewitnesses at the scene reported that Israeli forces at the checkpoint fired live bullets into the car of a Palestinian family consisting of a man and his wife and children. The man, identified as Alaa Ghayatha from the village of Nahalin, was shot in the abdomen and is said to be in critical condition. Manasra was in the car behind Ghayatha, and when the latter was shot Manasra came out to help him and was also shot at as he returned to his car.
The Israeli military issued a statement hours later claiming that the soldier stationed at the post had "identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles" and "in response, he fired his weapon". The statement did not, however, identify the soldier's intended target, and the military said that "Details regarding the incident are being reviewed and the incident will be examined."
Manasra's death marks that of the fourth Palestinian killed by Israeli forces within 24 hours in the occupied West Bank, having closely followed another two incidents. On Tuesday night, Israeli forces killed 19-year-old Omar Abu Leila near the city of Ramallah, after he stabbed and killed an Israeli occupation soldier.
In another incident on Tuesday, two other Palestinians – Raed Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20 – were killed by Israeli soldiers as they were driving their car near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank after hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Joseph's Tomb in the city.
The Governor of Bethlehem, Kamel Hamid, told local news that what happened was a direct execution of a young man, calling on the international community to intervene and put an end to the Israeli occupation.