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Israeli forces fatally shoot Palestinian man at West Bank checkpoint

Israel's defence ministry says forces opened fire at man after he charged checkpoint near Tulkarem with knife
Israeli soldier looks through rifle scope in occupied West Bank on 20 September (AFP/File photo)

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at a checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Friday.

Citing the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the news agency said the man was in his mid-20s.

He has not yet been identified.

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Israel's defence ministry said in a statement that Israeli forces opened fire after the Palestinian man charged the checkpoint wielding a knife.

The statement said one of the forces called on the man to stop, "and upon his failure to do so ... fired toward and neutralised" him, Reuters news agency reported.

According to Wafa's report, the Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli forces did not allow its ambulances to reach the man, who was left on the ground bleeding.

He was taken away by the Israeli army and later declared dead, the news agency said.

Israel's defence ministry circulated a photo of what it said was the scene of the incident, Reuters reported.

A black plastic sheet, which ministry spokeswoman Betty Ilovici told Reuters was laid over the Palestinian man's body, could be seen against the roadside with the checkpoint metres away in the background.

The defence ministry did not immediately respond to MEE's request for comment on Friday.

Dozens injured in Gaza

Human rights groups have condemned Israel's use of deadly force against Palestinians.

On 4 October, Israeli forces shot and killed a 28-year-old Palestinian man during a "Great March of Return" demonstration east of Jabalia in northern Gaza.

Several days later, a 20-year-old Palestinian man died of wounds sustained during a similar protest in April.

Great March of Return rallies have been held regularly across the Gaza Strip since March 2018.

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On Friday, at least 48 Palestinians were injured in clashes along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel, including 15 who were hit by live fire, AFP reported, citing the Palestinian Health Ministry.

From January to mid-October, Israeli forces killed at least 90 Palestinians and injured 13,017 others in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),  

During that same time period, Palestinians were responsible for the deaths of nine Israelis, OCHA said. 

In recent years, Amnesty International has documented hundreds of cases in which it says Israeli forces "have used lethal force on unarmed Palestinians who were posing no imminent threat to the lives of the soldiers or others".

"There appears to be blanket approval within the open fire regulations for Israeli forces to use live ammunition during law enforcement situations involving Palestinians," the group said in a statement last month.

 "This does not meet with Israel's obligations under international law," the group said.