The IDF’s Military Police Investigative Unit opened an official investigation into the shooting death Friday of a Palestinian man after he allegedly charged at troops in a guard post near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah.
Preliminary reports say the suspect most likely did not pose a threat to the soldiers, according to Haaretz and Channel 10.
Palestinian medical officials say Silwad resident Iyad Hamad, 38, a father of three, was shot in the back. Hamad is said to have suffered from mental illness and was receiving psychiatric treatment, Hebrew media reported.
According to the IDF, troops stationed outside Silwad identified a suspect running toward them and opened fire, killing him. Initial reports Friday said the man had opened fire on the post and Israeli troops returned fire, but the IDF later said it appeared that the suspect was not armed when he approached the guard post.
He did not heed the soldiers’ repeated orders to halt and was shot, Army Radio reported. The IDF probe is said to confirm that Hamad did not respond to warning shots and kept running toward the pillbox.
“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, a relative, Walid Hamad told Haaretz Saturday.
Channel 2 reported that troops were on high alert since earlier this week amid reports that a Palestinian suspect had disappeared from his home, with the intention of carrying out a terror attack. The alert was cancelled on Friday morning.