Israeli troops kill Palestinian trying to cross barrier

RAMALLAH, West Bank Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:44pm EST

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian who was trying to cross a security barrier to enter Israel from the occupied West Bank on Saturday.

Odai al Darawish, 21, was trying to cross into Israel to find work, his family said. He was taken to a hospital in Israel where he was pronounced dead, they said.

An Israeli military spokesman said soldiers had opened fire when they saw a man trying to cross the barrier in an area south of the West Bank city of Hebron.

"The soldiers followed the rules of engagement and fired towards his legs," the spokesman said.

Hospital officials were not available for comment.

Israel says the security barrier - a network of fences interspersed with concrete walls and projected to be 720 km (450 miles) long when complete - has prevented Palestinian suicide bombers entering Israel from the West Bank.

Palestinians say it is a way to grab land because it encroaches onto occupied territory, and the World Court has ruled it illegal.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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