A suspected Palestinian burglar was shot to death by an Israeli policeman while attempting to run a checkpoint in the West Bank early Sunday, police said.
The incident occurred at a makeshift checkpoint set up at around 1 a.m. on Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley, just north of the Palestinian city of Jericho, in response to reports of a suspicious vehicle on the road.
While a car was being inspected by officers, another vehicle in line behind it pulled out of the lane and rushed at the checkpoint in an apparent bid to escape inspection. The driver was wearing a face mask, police said.
One of the officers was in the path of the accelerating vehicle and reportedly believed he would be hit by the car. He called for the driver to stop and when he did not comply opened fire, police said in a statement. The gunfire mortally wounded the driver and caused the car to screech to a halt.
Two passengers then leaped from the car and escaped on foot.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by rescuers. The driver was identified as a resident of a nearby Palestinian village. Police said they found burglary tools and suspected stolen goods inside the vehicle.
“Police troops and investigators are working in the area to collect evidence and open an investigation,” police said.
Highway 90 runs the length of the West Bank along the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea.