Israeli Army Investigating Shooting of Unarmed Palestinian Who 'Rushed' Soldiers

In incident near Silwad in West Bank, 38-year-old Iyad Zakaria Hamed was shot dead by Kfir Brigade soldiers after he allegedly ran toward their guard post. Military Police to investigate claim that he was shot in the back.

Israeli soldiers gather at the scene where a suspected Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops at the entrance to the West Bank village of Silwad on August 26, 2016.
Abbas Momani / AFP

The IDF's Military Police have launched an investigation into the shooting death Friday of a 38-year-old unarmed Palestinian near the West Bank village of Silwad.

According to soldiers, the man, Iyad Zakaria Hamed was running toward a concrete guard tower near Silwad, not far from the settlement of Ofra. A preliminary investigation showed that Hamed did not try to harm the soldiers.

According to the policy of the military prosecution, a Military Police investigation is launched in the case of any death of a Palestinian in the West Bank who was “not involved in actual fighting.” The investigation will look into what exactly the soldiers were doing before they opened fire and why they fired when danger was not immediately clear. The claim that Hamed was shot in the back will also be investigated.

During the initial investigation at the scene, the soldiers reported that they were on patrol near the guard tower when they saw a Palestinian running toward them. The soldiers, from the ultra-Orthodox battalion of the Kfir Brigade, said they launched the procedure for arresting a suspect, which included firing into the air.

According to the rules of engagement, before opening fire the source of danger to the soldiers must be identified, and in this case it is unclear what this danger was. 

The army on Friday discounted Palestinian reports that Hamed was in a car, and reiterated the statement that Hamed had been running toward the guard tower.