HEBRON, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES – Israeli troops killed a Palestinian driver in the occupied West Bank Monday, officials on both sides said, with the army saying the car had hit a soldier’s leg before speeding off.
Nassim Naif Salman Abu Fouda, 26, died from “a bullet wound to the head fired by the occupation (Israeli) soldiers in Hebron this morning,” the Palestinian health ministry said.
The Israeli army said that soldiers had “identified a suspicious vehicle” and “asked the driver to stop the vehicle in order to inspect it.
“A soldier approached the vehicle and the driver rammed into his leg. The soldiers fired toward the vehicle as it attempted to flee the scene and hits were identified.
“The vehicle continued driving and then crashed,” the army statement said, adding that the driver was taken from the car by Palestinian medics and “was later declared dead”.
Abu Fouda is the 35th Palestinian killed in the conflict this month, in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem – including militants, civilians and several children – according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due to visit Israel Monday and then the Palestinian territories for meetings with leaders on both sides amid one of the conflict’s deadliest phases in years.
On Sunday, CIA Director Williams Burns held talks in the West Bank with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to discuss the “dangerous developments”, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The US embassy declined to comment to AFP on the meeting.
Israel is reeling after a Palestinian killed six Israelis including a child and one Ukrainian citizen in a shooting outside a synagogue in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on Friday.
The attack came a day after Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp, in the deadliest raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank in nearly two decades.
The army claimed the raid targeted operatives from Islamic Jihad.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.