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Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers in West Bank for 'no reason'

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Omar al-Badawi. [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 12 November, 2019

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An Israeli army probe into the death of Omar al-Badawi found he posed no threat when he was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.
A Palestinian man who posed no threat was shot and killed on Monday by Israeli forces in the south of the occupied West Bank, an Israeli military investigation found.

Palestinian medical sources identified the man as 22-year-old Omar Haithem al-Badawi, who was hit in the chest with live fire in Al-Arroub refugee camp before being taken to Ahali hospital in the nearby city of Hebron, where he was pronounced dead.

Videos circulating on social media show al-Badawi approaching the soldiers slowly before a shot is heard and he falls to the ground.

Soldiers are then seen firing bullets and throwing tear gas canisters as Palestinian civilians attempt to carry Badawi away.

Footage shared later on social media depicted hundreds of people attending the young man's funeral.

An initial IDF investigation found that al-Badawi did not pose a threat to the soldiers and that live ammunition should not have been used, Haaretz reported.

Military police will now launch a further investigation into the matter. 

Al-Badawi was killed in clashes that erupted as Palestinians in the West Bank marked the 15th anniversary of the death of former president Yasser Arafat.

The killing of al-Badawi was met with outrage on social media, including by United Nations' Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov. 

"Shocking to see the video today's killing of Omar Badawi by #Israeli security forces in #Hebron in circumstances that would seem to indicate that he posed no threat to anyone. My deepest condolences to his family. Such acts must be thoroughly investigated," wrote Mladenov.

According to the Israeli army, forces arrived at Al-Aroub refugee camp after stones were thrown at the highway. Once inside the refugee camp, molotov cocktails were thrown at the soldiers.

A soldier saw Al-Badawi "near a fire with a towel in his hand", Haaretz reported, and proceeded to shoot at the 22-year-old assuming he had a Molotov cocktail. 

The Israeli army said it is unsure as to whether al-Badawi was involved in throwing Molotov cocktails.

Journalist Abdel Rahman Hassan, who was present during the incident, confirmed to Haaretz that clashes had broken out in the refugee camp between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. 

Hassan said Al-Badawi was not among those participating in the clashes and that he was drawn out because a tree near his house caught fire.

He came out of his house with a towel to extinguish the fire, according to Hassan, at which point Israeli soldiers shot and killed him. 

Al-Badawi was killed for "no reason", Hassan told Haaretz.

The incident is being treated as a "wider operational incident" rather than a specific event because the shooting occurred during the throwing of Molotov cocktails, Israeli media reported.

Medics also reported Israeli use of live fire Monday in clashes at Fawwar, south of Hebron.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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