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B’Tselem: Tulkarem assassination unjustified

Sept. 17, 2010 3:07 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 18, 2010 11:44 A.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- A field worker for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem who investigated the scene of Friday's assassination of a Tulkarem man by Israeli forces called the killing "unjustified."

Speaking with Ma'an less than 12 hours after 38-year-old Iyad As'ad Shelbaya was killed by three gunshot wounds to the neck and chest, Eid As-Sa’di said Israeli statements as to how the death occurred were implausible.

Witnesses said Israeli forces blasted their way into Iyad's home. The slain man's brother said he heard Iyad say three times, "Who's there?", and that the words were followed by three gunshots.

Israeli military officials said the man ran toward Israeli soldiers who shot at him because they felt threatened.

Looking at the scene, As-Sa'di said "it would have been possible to arrest him, or just as easily to injure him."

The rights worker said that the room where Iyad was shot was no more than three meters by three meters, and expressed skepticism over the report that the known Hamas leader had come running at troops, that soldiers had had time to warn him to stop, and then shoot.

As-Sa'di said that the investigation by B'Tselem was ongoing, and said details of the event were still emerging.

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