Arab Israeli crashes stolen car in West Bank, is shot dead by soldiers
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Arab Israeli crashes stolen car in West Bank, is shot dead by soldiers

Army says it’s investigating incident, in which suspect was killed after hitting barrier protecting bus stop; relative accuses troops of ‘murder in cold blood’

General view of the settlement of Ariel, January 17, 2014. (Flash 90)
General view of the settlement of Ariel, January 17, 2014. (Flash 90)

IDF soldiers shot dead an Arab Israeli man after he crashed a stolen car into a barrier surrounding a bus stop near the West Bank settlement of Ariel on Tuesday morning.

The suspect, later identified as Iyad Zabarja, 28 of Qalansawe, was driving down the Route 5 highway, near the Gitai Junction, in a stolen vehicle, and was pursued by law enforcement.

“During [the chase], the driver crashed head-on into the bus stop, got out of the car and started to flee,” the army said.

Soldiers at the scene, apparently believing they had witnessed an attempted car-ramming terror attack, opened fire at the suspect, critically wounding him, the army said.

The bus stop appeared to be empty at the time of the crash, and there were no other injuries reported.

The driver received medical treatment at the scene, but died of his wounds a short while later.

The army said it was launching an investigation into the shooting.

A relative of Zabarja accused the army of murdering him “in cold blood.”

He told Walla news “They shouldn’t have shot him. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. They could have shot him in the legs and not shot him dead. They simply murdered him in cold blood, without him posing any danger.”

On Monday security guards shot an unarmed Palestinian man who ran at a checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank.

Guards at the Te’enim checkpoint called on the man to stop, and shot him in the lower body when he did not respond, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

He was seriously injured, and medical personnel took him to a hospital.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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