Palestinian killed by Israeli jeep in West Bank
QAFR MALIK, West Bank // An Israeli army jeep struck and killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, with the military and locals giving conflicting accounts of the circumstances.
A military spokeswoman said the jeep accidentally hit the Palestinian after he threw a petrol bomb at it during an operation to arrest suspected militants in the village of Qafr Malik.
“The driver was startled and swerved, hitting the man,” she said, adding that an investigation would be launched.
A resident of the village, Nail Abdul Latah El Hajj, denied the Palestinian had attacked the jeep, saying the man was walking to work at a chicken farm when he was run down and then crushed as the vehicle crashed into a wall and overturned.
Mr El Hajj said the man’s death sparked confrontations between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and Israeli troops.
The military spokeswoman said the disturbances were already under way when the man was run over.
In a separate incident, the army said it was investigating seven soldiers who were filmed beating an unarmed Palestinian during a protest in the Jalazoun refugee camp on Friday.
The video posted on social media showed the Palestinian being hit with a rifle butt and wrestled to the ground, where he was punched and a soldier’s knee was pressed against his head. He was then handcuffed and taken away.
“Based on preliminary investigation, it appears that the conduct displayed in the incident is inconsistent with that expected” of Israel Defence Forces soldiers, the military said.
Israeli forces regularly mount raids in the West Bank in search of suspected militants, often touching off clashes with residents.
On Wednesday, soldiers shot dead a member of the militant group Hamas in the town of Jenin during one such operation.
* Reuters with additional reporting from Agence France-Presse
Updated: June 14, 2015 04:00 AM