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Israeli police killed unarmed Palestinian who did not pose threat, rights group says

B'Tselem says newly released video disputes previous claims by Israeli police that Ahmed Abdu was killed when they tried to arrest him

Israeli police shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian in the occupied West Bank who did not pose a threat to them, an Israeli rights group reported on Wednesday, citing newly released security camera footage.

Last month, Ahmed Abdu was sitting in his car in the Palestinian town of Um a-Sharayet, near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, when Israeli police blocked his vehicle. Four officers then came out of their cars and fired shots into Abdu's car.  

Israeli police claimed that Abdu, who was parked outside his uncle's home, was killed during an "attempted arrest". But according to the footage - released by the rights group B'Tselem - there was no attempt by the Israeli police to arrest the 25-year-old.

B'Tselem reported that Israeli officers offered no first aid and did not call an ambulance after shooting Abdu.

Marks on his body also appear to indicate that he was dragged for several metres and shot in his shoulder and left side of his chest and legs, according to the NGO.

Middle East Eye has not been able to corroborate any of their claims.

'Targeted killing'

Eyewitnesses told B'Tselem that Abdu was "still alive" after Israeli police shot him, but that they offered no help.

"Three or four soldiers were standing around him, and they moved between the car and their vehicle," Wahib Majadabha, a 33-year-old nurse, told B'Tselem, adding that they left him on the ground as he bled out.

"I ran outside immediately... He drew his last breaths, exhaled, his lips moved slightly, and then his body went limp. He was bleeding from the shoulder area," said Majadabha.

B'Tselem described Abdu's death as a "targeted killing" by Israeli police, saying: "opening live fire at a person sitting in his car, without even trying to arrest him, is not an attempted arrest".

Israeli police alleged that Abdu was a "terror accomplice" but provided no explanation on what danger the young Palestinian posed.

Israeli police did not respond to requests for comment at the time of writing. 

Days after Abdu's death, the Israeli security agency, also known as Shin Bet, reportedly called his family to apologise but also demanded they turn in Abdu's uncle for allegedly shooting at Israeli soldiers during a demonstration near al-Bireh town, near the city of Ramallah, B'Tselem reported.

Hailing from the al-Am'ari refugee camp in the West Bank, Abdu "dreamed of getting married and starting a family", his uncle Ayman Abu Arab said.  

"He was a clerk at the al-Bireh municipality, but the pay was too low, so he quit and went to work at a bakery owned by his fiancée's parents," Abu Arab told B'Tselem. 

"He was always asking me if I could find him more work because he wanted to get the apartment done as soon as possible and make all the preparations for the wedding. But Israel destroyed his dream and stole his fiancée's joy."

Tensions have been running high in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in recent months, over incursions by Israeli settlers in al-Aqsa Mosque and the planned expulsions of at least 40 Palestinians from the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.