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Israeli forces refuse to release body of Nablus man

June 3, 2014 8:22 P.M. (Updated: June 4, 2014 8:39 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces postponed the release of the body of a Nablus man killed on Monday, after clashes broke out in his village in Huwwara south of Nablus.

Awad Najim Amin, Fatah secretary in the village, told Ma'an that Alaa Mohammad Awad’s family accompanied by dozens of people and an ambulance waited for over an hour at Huwwara checkpoint, after arrangements were made between Palestinian and Israeli liaisons offices to release the body.

However, Israeli forced refused to release the body citing clashes at the checkpoint.

He added that dozens of Israeli soldiers were deployed at the entrances of the village since early morning.

Earlier, Awad's family denied Israeli claims that he opened fire at forces.

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, the army said.

But his family told Ma'an 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.

Israeli forces have killed 12 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of 2014.
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