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Family of man killed by Israeli forces denies he shot at police

June 3, 2014 10:13 A.M. (Updated: June 4, 2014 5:25 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The family of a man killed by Israeli soldiers near Nablus late Monday have denied Israeli claims that he opened fire at forces.

They identified the man as Alaa Muhammad Awad Audah, 30, from the town of Huwwara south of Nablus.

According to the Israeli army, Audah approached the Zaatara checkpoint late Monday and opened fire at an Israeli policeman, lightly wounding him in the leg.

Soldiers responded by shooting and killing Audah.

But his family told Ma'an Tuesday that the 30-year-old arrived at the checkpoint in order to receive a shipment of cell phones for a store he owned.

In order to avoid traffic, Audah decided to cross the checkpoint and retrieve his package on foot while his taxi driver waited nearby, family member Jumaah Omran said.

Soldiers shot and killed him as he approached the checkpoint, Omran added.

Locals told Ma'an that the shooting occurred as Israel army chief of staff Benny Gantz was visiting Joseph's Tomb nearby.

Audah left behind a wife and two children. His village, Huwwara, has announced three days of mourning.

His body has yet to be delivered to his family.

Israeli forces have killed 12 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of 2014, according to AFP figures.

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