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Israeli forces kill Palestinian, pursued for allegedly committing drive-by shootings

July 16, 2017 10:05 A.M. (Updated: July 17, 2017 4:38 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a 34-year-old Palestinian man during a predawn raid near the village of Nabi Salih west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Sunday, when another Palestinian, described as a "youth" by Israeli police, was also injured and detained.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed in a statement that the slain Palestinian, identified as Ammar Ahmad Khalil, was responsible for two shooting incidents that took place in the area the previous day, and that “following reports that the Palestinian was responsible for the shooting attacks,” Israeli forces launched a campaign to detain him and headed to Nabi Salih.

Israeli media said Khalil was from Nabi Salih, but local reports from Palestinian news outlets said he was from the nearby village of Kafr Ein.

During the Israeli military raid to apprehend Khalil, he allegedly pointed his weapon at Israeli border police forces, “leading them to shoot and kill him,” al-Samri wrote. No Israeli forces were injured in the incident.

She added that another Palestinian youth from the area was detained for interrogation. Israeli news outlet Haaretz report that the detainee was lightly wounded and treated at the scene.

Al-Samri claimed that the Khalil was responible for opening fire at an Israeli-plated vehicle north of Ramallah near the illegal Israeli Ateret settlement Saturday afternoon, which resulted in the light injury of the driver, who was Palestinian. Khalil was also allegedly responsible for another shooting later in the day at an Israeli military site in Nabi Salih that caused no casualties.

The victim of Saturday's first shooting incident Nasser Nael gave a video recorded testimony to the Israeli army saying that he came under fire from a man driving a car towards him, and said that he also saw a women in the passenger's seat beside the gunman.

The Israeli prime minister's office said on Twitter on Sunday that Khalil committed the shootings with his fiancee because "their families didn't approve of their engagement."

Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli prime minister's spokesperson, also said that Khalil was a former member of the Palestinian Authority's security services.

The alleged weapon used in Saturday's two shooting incidents (Source: Israeli Police)
Hours after his death, a video circulated on social media purporting to show an interview of Khalil, in which he urged the Palestinian Authority and Arab organizations to provide support for the Gaza Strip during an Israeli assault on the besieged coastal enclave. It remained unclear from the undated video to which of the three Gaza wars since 2008 his remarks referred.

Khalil was the 44th Palestinian to be killed by Israelis this year. Ten Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

He was also the eight Palestinian to be shot dead by Israeli forces within the span of one week. Three Palestinians citizens of Israel were killed after carrying out a deadly shooting attack inside Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, while three Palestinians were shot dead during clashes that broke out during overnight raids in al-Duheisha refugee camp and Jenin refugee camp.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response or in cases where alleged suspects could be subdued or detained in a nonlethal manner.

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