A 27-year-old Palestinian father of three from the city of Rahat in the Naqab desert was shot dead by an undercover Israeli soldier this morning, Wafa has reported. Sanad Salem Al-Harbed was taken to hospital where he was declared to be dead.
The Israeli soldier claimed that his undercover unit had been fired at. The unit was in Rahat to arrest two suspects. The soldiers "neutralised the gunman who posed a threat" and no Israeli casualties were sustained, said the army.
However, the Mayor of Rahat, Fayez Abu Sahiban, confirmed that Al-Harbed was not one of the original suspects who the soldiers had set out to arrest. He condemned the shooting.
"I hope it does not lead to riots," Abu Sahiban told Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster. "Residents told me that the young man who was killed was a passer-by, and was not connected to any shooting [at the soldiers]."
In a statement posted on Facebook, Hamas spokesman Abdullatif Al-Qanou said that, "The blood of the martyrs will continue to fuel our people's revolution against the Zionist occupier."
The Naqab is home to 300,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel, the majority of whom live in villages which are "unrecognised" by the occupation state. As a result, they suffer from a lack of basic services such as water and electricity.
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