JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian protester during clashes on Friday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The ministry said the man died after being shot in the head in the village of Beit Dagan, near the northern city of Nablus. Residents there hold regular demonstrations against Israeli settlements. The official Wafa news agency identified the man as Atef Hanaisheh, 45.
The Israeli military said dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks at the soldiers, who responded with “riot dispersal means” and by firing into the air. It said it was looking into the reports of the death but that the cause of the injury was still unknown.
West Bank demonstrations often turn violent, with Palestinian protesters throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces, who fire tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and sometimes live ammunition to disperse them.
The U.N. envoy for the Mideast peace process, Tor Wennesland, extended condolences to the family of the deceased and called for an investigation. “Lethal force is only a last resort under imminent threat of death or serious injury,” his office tweeted.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.
Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in around 130 settlements and dozens of unauthorized outposts scattered across the territory. The Palestinians view the settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace, a position with wide international support.