LETHAL FORCE Mourners escort the body of Abdullah Qalalweh, who was reportedly shot dead by Israeli police near the Huwara checkpoint, out of the Rafidiya hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. AFP PHOTO

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank

NABLUS, Palestinian Territories: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in the West Bank Friday (Saturday in Manila), the Palestinian health ministry said, in what the army described as an “attack” by an unarmed “suspect” on a military outpost.

Abdullah Sami Qalalweh, 26, was killed by “Israeli occupation bullets near the town of Huwara, south of Nablus,” the Palestinian ministry said in a statement.

An Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer saw Qalalweh’s body at the morgue of a Nablus hospital.

The Israeli army, meanwhile, said soldiers had “shot live fire into the air” after a suspected “walked toward a military outpost adjacent” to an army base in the Huwara area.

It said Qalalweh “attempted to attack one of the soldiers” and that “another soldier who was at the spot fired toward the suspect and hit him.”

The army confirmed to AFP that Qalalweh was unarmed.

Since the start of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 36 Palestinian adults and children — including attackers, militants and civilians.

Six Israeli civilians, including a child, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed over the same period.

Earlier on Friday, UN right chief Volker Turk called on Israel “to ensure that all operations of its security forces in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are carried out with full respect for international human rights law.”

He stressed adherence to “the rules regulating the use of force in law enforcement operations,” according to a statement from his office.

“Use of firearms is allowed only as a last resort when there is an imminent threat to life or serious injury.”

Last year was the deadliest year in the occupied West Bank since the United Nations started tracking fatalities in the territory in 2005.

Some 235 people died in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year, with nearly 90 percent of the deaths on the Palestinian side, according to AFP figures.

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