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Unarmed Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces at military post near Ramallah

Aug. 26, 2016 1:06 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2016 8:02 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A reportedly unarmed Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces at a military post near the illegal Israeli Ofra settlement at the western entrance to the town of Silwad in northeastern Ramallah on Friday, contradicting earlier reports by Israeli media that he had opened fire at soldiers.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers stationed at a military post in Silwad identified a suspect on foot running toward them.

The Israeli soldiers "shot towards the suspect, resulting in his death," the spokesperson said.

No injuries among Israeli soldiers were reported by the army.

Medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent who had arrived at the scene were reportedly prevented by Israeli forces from accessing the site.

Initial reports from Hebrew media said the suspect had opened fire from inside a vehicle, and that a woman had been inside the car with him.

According to reports, witnesses said that he was shot and critically injured while inside his vehicle, and was later pronounced dead.

When asked about the conflicting reports, and whether or not the suspect had been armed, the Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an the details of the incident were still being checked.

The suspect was later identified by local sources in the Ramallah area as 38-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed. He was married and a father of three.

Israeli news site Ynet quoted an anonymous Palestinian official as saying that Hamed suffered from mental illness and was not found to have any weapons on his person when searched, and no signs of gunfire were found on the guard post.

Most recently, a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces Wednesday near Nablus after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier.

According to Ma'an documentation, Hamid is the 220th Palestinian to be killed by Israelis since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last October, many of whom were killed while allegedly carrying out attacks or attempting to carry out attacks on Israeli targets, or during clashes with Israeli forces during raids in Palestinian communities.

Some 32 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same period.

Israel has come under repeated criticism for failing to carry out due process in response to alleged and actual attacks, particularly in regard to the apparent extrajudicial executions of Palestinians who did not pose a threat when they were killed.
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