Israeli Army Says Palestinian Shot Dead Was Not a Terrorist

Initial army probe of West Bank shooting of Palestinian man says he most likely did not pose threat to soldiers.

Mourners carry the body of of 38-year-old Palestinian Iyad Hamed, 38, during his funeral in Silwad after he was killed by Israeli troops. August 26, 2016.
Abbas Momani, AFP

The Israel Defense Forces say the Palestinian man shot dead Friday morning in the West Bank after allegedly charging an army outpost was not a terrorist.

Official Palestinian medical sources identified the man as Iyad Zakariya Hamed, a resident of Silwad who locals said was married and a father of three children with special needs.

Israeli soldiers surround the body of a suspected Palestinian man who was reportedly shot dead by Israeli troops at the entrance to the West Bank village of Silwad on August 26, 2016.
Abbas Momani, AFP

An initial investigation by the IDF stated that a group of soldiers was patrolling the Silwad area when they saw Hamed rush towards another group of soldier standing near the fortified military pillbox. The onlooking forces, from the ultra-Orthodox unit of the Kfir Brigade, fired warning shots, as is protocol. He was shot dead when continued to run toward the guard post.

Walid Hamed, a family member of the deceased, told Haaretz that Hamad was alone when the incident happened en route to a local mosque. "He was a very simple man. Either he got lost and tried to get to the mosque through a dirt road. We don't know, but it is clear that there was no need to shoot him. He didn't pose a threat to anyone." He said Hamed was receiving psychiatric medical care.

Iyad Zakariya Hamed, Palestinian shot dead by IDF forces after rushing towards soldiers in West Bank. August 26, 2016.

Hamed's body was transferred to his family and was buried in Silwad. Dozens of local youths clashed with the army during the funeral.

According to army open-fire protocol, such a shooting is permitted if and only if a weapon is identified and the suspect poses a direct and immediate threat. It is currently unclear if such a weapon was found either before or after the shooting.

The details supplied by the army do not indicate the soldiers felt threatened by Hamed. According to army protocol, in incidents where no immediate threat is posed, suspects should not be fired upon. The army has yet to announce a legal investigation into the shooting, per the military's new policy to investigate lethal shootings of Palestinians by soldiers.

On Wednesday, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. The suspected stabber, identified as 26-year-old Sami Abu Ourab from Qabatiyah, was shot dead at the scene.