A Palestinian man was shot dead by IDF soldiers who intervened during a clash between Palestinians and Israeli settlers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinians and the army said Saturday.
The Palestinian Red Crescent identified the dead man as Imayyer Shehadeh, 22, from the town of Urif, adding that at least one other person was wounded.
Palestinian security sources said the clash was started by the settlers, after which the army intervened and fired at a group of Palestinians.
However, an IDF spokesman said the Palestinians approached the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar and began throwing rocks at the Israeli residents, as well as at IDF troops who arrived at the scene shortly after.
The soldiers used riot dispersal measures and then live fire to clear the area, the army said, adding that it would be investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the Yitzhar said that the clashes had broken out before the troops had arrived, claiming that a group of settlers had acted to distance the Palestinians from the community.
“We are experiencing terrorist attacks by Arabs from the villages near the settlement, almost daily,” said Yitzhar secretariat chairman Uriah Cohen.
The Yitzhar spokesman also claimed that the settlement’s security coordinator came under attack hours earlier by a group of Palestinians who approached one of the hilltop community’s neighborhoods.
When the security coordinator arrived at the scene, his vehicle was pelted with stones, the spokesman said.
Violent outbursts between Israeli settlers and Palestinians have been a near daily occurrence as of late in the West Bank.
On Friday, a Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank city of Hebron, and at least four others were wounded in clashes along Gaza’s border with Israel.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the victim as 24-year-old Mohammed al-Jabari.
The Israeli army said a “riot” had broken out in Hebron and that protesters had attacked soldiers.
“Troops fired live rounds towards a main instigator who held a firebomb with the intent to hurl it,” a spokesman said, adding an investigation had been launched.
Some Palestinian media reported that Jabari was deaf. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said he had disabilities, without further details. In December, IDF soldiers killed a legless Palestinian man protesting near the Gaza border, Palestinian officials said, causing an international outcry.
Palestinian groups have called for clashes with Israeli forces to protest the US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy to the city.
On December 6, US President Donald Trump bucked decades of US foreign policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and setting in motion plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. In February, the US administration announced that it would open its Jerusalem embassy in May 2018, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited Trump to visit Israel for the occasion.
Trump’s decision, welcomed by Israel, has been condemned by leaders and foreign ministers across the world, who have said the city’s status should be determined through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A number of Muslim leaders have warned the move may lead to violence.
AFP contributed to this report.