JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military shot dead a Palestinian during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, saying a soldier fired back after a man pelted him with a rock.
The Palestinian Information Ministry said Israeli forces had killed Ezz El-Deen al-Tamimi, 21, in “cold blood”.
In a statement, the military said more than 10 Palestinians tried to disrupt a force carrying out arrests in the village of Nabi Saleh and that one of them threw a rock at a soldier, striking him in the head.
“The soldier responded by firing at the Palestinian, who was wounded and given medical treatment at the scene,” it said. “He was treated at the scene and he was later declared dead. None of our troops were hurt. The incident will be investigated.”
The Palestinian Information Ministry, in a statement, said: “The execution of Tamimi in cold blood, with three bullets at close range, proves how much our people are in need of international protection against the Israeli war machine.”
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Under interim peace accords, Palestinians exercise limited self-rule in the area, which they seek, along with the Gaza Strip, for a future state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Israeli military controls most of the territory of the West Bank, protecting 400,000 Jewish settlers who now live there among around 3 million Palestinians. U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in 2014.
Israeli use of force against Palestinians has drawn particular international attention in recent months after at least 120 Palestinians were killed during protests at the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, including 60 in a single day on May 14.
Israel says many protest participants were members of Hamas, the dominant armed group in the Gaza Strip, and militants trying to breach the fenced frontier and launch attacks. The Palestinians say most of the dead and the thousands who have been wounded were unarmed civilians.
Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Jeffrey Heller; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Peter Graff