Palestinian man shot by Israeli troops dies of wounds

Ahmed Khatabteh allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli car before he was targeted by soldiers

Illustrative photo of a young Palestinian hurling a firebomb in Hebron. (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Illustrative photo of a young Palestinian hurling a firebomb in Hebron. (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

A Palestinian man shot and wounded by Israeli security forces last week died of his wounds on Thursday in a hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus, his family said.

Ahmed Khatabteh, 25, was shot on Friday during clashes with troops in the Palestinian village of Beit Furik near Nablus, after allegedly hurling a firebomb at a passing Israeli vehicle.

Khatabteh, along with a second man, hurled the firebomb at the car, which was driving toward the nearby settlement of Elon Moreh, the army said. The two missed their target, but the attack caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle and overturn. The driver was unscathed.

Israeli security forces shot at the two in response, seriously wounding Khatabteh. The other suspect was arrested and taken in to custody.

Earlier Thursday, the security cabinet approved proposed measures broadening the rules under which stone-throwers can be targeted by live fire.

The cabinet agreed to allow live fire in any case in which lives are endangered; use of .22 Ruger sniper rifles against rock throwers; a minimum four-year prison sentence for rock throwers, including imprisonment and fines for minors aged 14-18; the cancellation of welfare benefits for minors in prison; and an evaluation of fining parents of convicted children aged 12-14.

“In Israel, these murderous objects won’t be thrown unanswered and without prevention,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted after the vote prompted by the ongoing unrest between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Netanyahu has been pushing for the legislative changes amid a surge in rock-throwing and firebomb attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent weeks, including one that proved fatal last Sunday night when an Israeli driver was killed crashing his car into a pole after coming under attack by rock-throwers in Jerusalem.

The surge in attacks followed three consecutive days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem over the Jewish new year.

Israeli forces in East Jerusalem, which Israel effectively annexed in 1981, have until now operated under different guidelines than those applied to the West Bank. But the new directives will allow — for the first time — the use of live fire snipers in certain cases as well as increased use of rubber bullets on both sides of the Green Line.

AFP contributed to this report.

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