Israel Troops Shoot Dead West Bank Palestinian


Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, less than 48 hours after a female protester died after being tear-gassed.

Palestinian officials condemned the two deaths, calling them part of a ""dangerous escalation"" by Israel.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said Mohammed Daraghmeh, in his early twenties, was killed at around 8:00 am (0600 GMT) at the Hamra checkpoint northeast of Nablus.

Initial media reports said Daraghmeh had tried to stab soldiers at the checkpoint -- a claim denied by Palestinian sources.

The Israeli military confirmed that Daraghmeh was not armed with a knife, but said he entered an unauthorised lane in the checkpoint and was believed to have been holding a bottle.

""He approached them, he was standing a few metres (yards) from them,"" a military spokeswoman said. ""They asked him to stop, he didn't answer,"" she said, adding that the incident was under investigation.

The spokeswoman could not confirm whether the bottle was broken, or if Daraghmeh had explicitly threatened the soldiers. It was also unclear how many soldiers opened fire.

Daraghmeh, from Tubas, north of Nablus, died at the checkpoint after sustaining bullet wounds to his chest, hand and leg, sources at the town's hospital where he was taken told AFP.