A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank village of Silwad Friday morning. The circumstances of the incident, which took place near the settlement of Ofra, remained unclear. The Israel Defense Forces say the man ran toward a fortified army outpost, while eyewitnesses report that he was apparently shot while in a vehicle.
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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.
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.
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 army rejected Palestinian clams that Hamed was in a car. Nonetheless, 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.