Palestinian killed by Israel army in West Bank: ministry

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers when clashes erupted during a demonstration in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

"A citizen who was shot in the head with live ammunition died," the ministry said, adding the incident happened in the village of Beit Dajan, near Nablus.

The Israeli army acknowledged a "violent riot" took place there, "during which dozens of Palestinian rioters hurled rocks at IDF troops."

"IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means and by firing into the air," a statement from the army said.

"We are aware of reports regarding a Palestinian casualty. The cause of the injury is still unknown," the army said. "The incident is being examined."

Atef Yussef Hanaysheh, 42, was killed in a clash between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians demonstrating against Israeli settlement activity, said Beit Dajan mayor Abdelrahman Hanani.

"The soldiers fired when we approached a wildcat settlement near the village," he told AFP, using a term for settlements not recognised by the Israeli government.

Palestinians gather on Fridays across the West Bank to protest against the expansion of Israeli settlements, which are deemed illegal under international law.

The demonstrations are sometimes marred by clashes with the Israeli army.

Excluding Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, around 475,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, a territory with more than 2.8 million Palestinian inhabitants.