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Israeli troops kill Palestinian at West Bank checkpoint


Palestinians carry the body of Jawaher Abu Rahmah during her funeral in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah January 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Palestinians carry the body of Jawaher Abu Rahmah during her funeral in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah January 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli troops on Sunday shot and killed a Palestinian who approached them at a West Bank checkpoint holding a bottle, the Israeli military and Palestinian officials said.

A military spokeswoman said the man, identified by Palestinian officials as 24-year-old Ahmed Muslamani, did not heed orders to halt, and they opened fire as he came closer.

Muslamani was shot in the chest and leg, said a Palestinian medical worker who collected the body at the Israeli military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The military spokeswoman said she did not know the contents of the glass bottle. "The soldiers apparently felt threatened," she said.

Violence in the occupied West Bank has largely tapered off in the past few years as a result of security measures by Israel and a bolstered Palestinian police force supervised by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's government.

But on Saturday, a Palestinian woman died after inhaling gas that had been fired by Israeli forces quelling a protest a day earlier against Israel's West Bank barrier near the village of Bilin, a senior Palestinian medical official said.

The Israeli military said troops had employed riot dispersal means against stone throwers and the circumstances of the woman's death were under investigation.

In other violence on Sunday, Israeli aircraft attacked targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, wounding two Palestinians, medical officials in the territory said.

The Israeli military said a "Hamas terror activity center in northern Gaza and a weapons manufacturing facility in central Gaza" were hit in response to a rocket strike on Israel on Saturday.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland, Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi)

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