UN voices concern at West Bank deaths
The United Nations has expressed concern at the recent deaths of Palestinian civilians, including a woman, by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
"We are very worried that two Palestinians have lost their lives in recent days in incidents involving Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank," AFP quoted UN spokesman in Israel Richard Miron as saying on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, a Palestinian man from Tubas, Mohammed Daraghmeh, was killed at around 8:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) at the Hamra checkpoint northeast of Nablus after sustaining bullet wounds to his chest, hand and leg.
The Israeli media initially claimed Daraghmeh, in his early twenties, had tried to stab soldiers at the checkpoint. But the military later confirmed that the man was not armed.
The army blamed the killing on "a combination of misunderstandings stemming from the Palestinian citizen's inexplicable behavior and the high state of alert of the soldiers."
Palestinian security sources said Daraghmeh was trying to pass through the checkpoint on his way to work at a West Bank settlement when he was stopped and consequently killed by Israeli troops.
The checkpoint killing came almost two days after female Palestinian protester Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, died due to massive amounts of tear gas fired by the Israeli military during a demonstration in Bilin, a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The Palestinian Authority has condemned the two deaths as a "war crime" and a "dangerous escalation" by Israel aimed at demolishing any hope of peace in the Middle East.
On Saturday, hundreds of Israeli leftist protesters and pro-Palestinian activists gathered outside Israel's defense ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv to protest against the continued occupation of the West Bank and Abu Rahma's death, PressTV reported.