Israeli troops 'kill unarmed Palestinian' in West Bank

Israeli soldiers in the West Bank - file photo

Israeli soldiers have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian who was trying to aid another man, according to the governor of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Kamel Hmeid said troops in the nearby village of al-Khader fired at a car and wounded the driver late on Wednesday.

He said Ahmad Manasra was in the car behind and got out of his vehicle to help the wounded man, who had been shot in the abdomen. As Mr Manasra was returning to his car, the soldiers shot him, Mr Hmeid said.

"This is a summary execution and Israel bears the full responsibility for this crime," Mr Hmeid added.

The Israeli military said a soldier stationed at a military post near Bethlehem identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles and fired his weapon. The military said it was investigating the incident, which comes amid heightened tensions in the West Bank.

Wabeb Manasrah, a cousin of the man who died, confirmed the governor's account. He said they were trying to help the wounded man and his cousin was going to drive his wife and children away when he was gunned down.

"There were no clashes, no stone throwing, nothing at all," he said. "I don't know why they shot him."

On Wednesday, the Israeli military said it shot and killed two Palestinians who had attacked troops in the West Bank city of Nablus. This followed the killing of a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a weekend stabbing and shooting attack that left two Israelis dead near a West Bank settlement.

The military said 19-year-old Omar Abu Leila was shot when he opened fire on soldiers trying to arrest him after a two-day manhunt.

The rise in West Bank violence comes with Israel in the midst of an election campaign and Egypt trying to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks in the West Bank. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in the same period.

Israel has described most of the Palestinians killed as attackers, but clashes between protesters and soldiers have also turned deadly.

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