PA says IDF killed Palestinian man during West Bank clash
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PA says IDF killed Palestinian man during West Bank clash

Witnesses say Omar al-Badawi, 22, was shot while trying to put out a fire caused by a Molotov cocktail; UN urges investigation

Illustrative: IDF troops in a raid in the West Bank. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: IDF troops in a raid in the West Bank. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Palestinian Health Ministry on Monday said IDF troops shot and killed a 22-year old West Bank man during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the al-Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron.

Omar al-Badawi, a resident of the camp, was apparently not involved in the fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian marchers commemorating the 15th anniversary of the death of PLO chairman and Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat.

Witnesses told the Haaretz daily that al-Badawi was targeted when he left his house to extinguish a fire caused by a Molotov cocktail that landed on the building. Video footage purporting to show the incident showed a young man carefully approaching the fire before falling down. Two men who appeared to be journalists were standing nearby.

The IDF has not yet responded to the PA ministry’s statement.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov called for a probe into the shooting on Monday evening, tweeting: “Shocking to see the video today’s killing of Omar Badawi by #Israeli security forces in #Hebron in circumstances that would seem to indicate that he posed no threat to anyone. My deepest condolences to his family. Such acts must be thoroughly investigated.”

Late last month, 13 Palestinians were arrested in a “wide-scale operation” in the al-Arroub camp, which the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA says “has one of the highest numbers of incursions of all refugee camps in the West Bank.” The army said the arrests came in response to an uptick in stone-throwing and firebomb attacks on Israeli vehicles traveling on nearby Route 60.

“For the past few weeks, our patrols have been trying to halt daily attempts to attack commuters on Route 60 as part of their work securing the residents of the Etzion bloc,” the army said at the time. The IDF said that troops found and confiscated an M16 rifle and ammunition during searches of al-Arroub.

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