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Palestinian shot dead during clashes with Israeli troops near Nablus

Hamas media reports that Zakaria Hamayel, 28, was a member of the terror group; IDF says it is looking into incident

Palestinian protesters use slingshots to hurl stones at Israeli security forces amid clashes in the village of Baita, south of Nablus, in the West Bank on May 28, 2021. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)
Palestinian protesters use slingshots to hurl stones at Israeli security forces amid clashes in the village of Baita, south of Nablus, in the West Bank on May 28, 2021. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes near his hometown of Beita close to Nablus on Friday afternoon, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said.

The Israel Defense Forces said hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and lit swathes of ground ablaze. The army said it had used riot dispersal means and Roger bullets, a slightly less lethal form of live fire.

“At this stage, the cause of the Palestinian’s wound is unknown. The incident is being investigated,” the Israeli military said.

Palestinian media identified the man as Zakaria Maher Hamayel, a 28-year-old resident of Beita. Official Hamas radio reported that Hamayel was an activist in the Islamist terror group.

“We’re Mohammad Deif’s men,” mourners chanted at Hamayel’s funeral on Friday evening, referring to the shadowy commander of Hamas’s military wing.

The shooting came as Beita residents protested the establishment of an Israeli outpost near their town on Friday afternoon. The outpost, known as Evyatar, has been built and demolished a few times since it was first erected in 2013.

Dozens of residents marched towards the outpost before clashing with Israeli soldiers on the scene, Palestinian media reported.

In footage from the scene, Palestinians can be seen hurling stones at Israeli troops, who fired tear gas at protesters.

قال تعالى:{إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ…

Posted by ‎Beita Municipality بلدية بيتا‎ on Friday, May 28, 2021

The PA health ministry said Hamayel had been shot in the chest with live bullets.

Another 22 were wounded in clashes near Salfit in the central West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent medical service. The Red Crescent said two wounded with live bullets were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Tensions in the West Bank have risen in recent weeks following a recent round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.

Palestinians were also angered by Israeli policies in Jerusalem, especially police raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. The flashpoint hilltop is also the holiest place in Judaism as the site of both biblical temples.

Over a dozen West Bank Palestinians were killed in violent clashes with Israeli troops before Israel and Hamas declared a ceasefire last week. According to the Israeli military, Palestinians hurled stones and launched fireworks towards soldiers at dozens of sites across the West Bank, putting the soldiers’ lives in danger.

In a relatively rare incident, Palestinians also fired live bullets at Israeli troops near Beit El last Tuesday. Two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in the confrontation.

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