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Palestinian govt condemns ‘execution’ of man at West Bank checkpoint

Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of Ahmad Kahla. (AFP)
  • The Israeli military said soldiers shot someone after a "violent confrontation", during which the unnamed person "attempted to take hold of one of the soldiers' weapons".
  • Kahla's death brings up to 13 the number of Palestinians killed in the territory so far this month, the majority shot by Israeli forces, according to an AFP tally.

Rammun, Palestinian Territories--The Palestinian foreign ministry on Sunday condemned as an “execution” the killing of a Palestinian man by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

The ministry slammed the “heinous execution” of Ahmad Kahla, 45, who was shot dead by troops near the village of Silwad north of Ramallah.

The Israeli military said soldiers shot someone after a “violent confrontation”, during which the unnamed person “attempted to take hold of one of the soldiers’ weapons”.

The man’s son, Qusai Kahla, told AFP he was in the car with his father when they were stopped at the checkpoint.

“Soldiers came and they sprayed pepper spray on my face and pulled me out of the car,” the 18-year-old said at the family home in Rammun village.

“I don’t know what happened after that,” he said. “I found out from my uncle that my dad was killed.”

Israel’s military, meanwhile, said the Palestinians refused to stop and soldiers used “riot dispersal means in order to detain one of the suspects in the vehicle”.

Kahla was shot in the neck, the Palestinian health ministry said, while the army said no troops were hurt.

The military did not immediately respond to requests by AFP to clarify the weapons used to stop the vehicle, or whether the civilian was unarmed when killed.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported soldiers forced Kahla out of his vehicle before shooting him at “point blank” range.

Dozens of mourners gathered for Kahla’s funeral on Sunday, an AFP correspondent said, with some calling for revenge.

Kahla’s death brings up to 13 the number of Palestinians killed in the territory so far this month, the majority shot by Israeli forces, according to an AFP tally.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said the Israeli leadership has made it “easy for soldiers to kill any Palestinian without them posing any danger to the occupation soldiers”.

Israel’s most right-wing government in history was sworn in last month, including ministers known for their anti-Palestinian remarks who have taken over key powers in the West Bank.

The rising toll this month follows the deadliest year in the West Bank since United Nations records began in 2005.

A surge in bloodshed last year saw at least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to an AFP tally.

More than 150 of the fatalities were in the West Bank.