A Palestinian man, 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Yaqoub, died after being shot in the neck by Israeli occupation forces in Kifl Haris, a town near the West Bank city of Salfit, on Thursday.
Palestinian sources rejected the Israeli military’s claim that Abu Yaqoub and a companion were throwing Molotov cocktails at an army post when soldiers opened fire.
The governor of Salfit said that Abu Yaqoub was killed without justification while walking with friends.
Palestinian outlets circulated a photo of Abu Yaqoub after his death:
Abu Yaqoub is the third Palestinian killed this year after allegedly throwing or while holding a Molotov cocktail.
Muhammad Suleiman al-Haddad, 16, was shot in the chest while holding what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail during confrontations with soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron on 5 February, according to Defense for Children International Palestine.
“However, he was far enough away from Israeli forces, including the soldier that fired at him, that he likely did not pose any imminent threat when he was shot,” Defense for Children International Palestine stated.
Israeli forces also justified the use of lethal force against Bader Nafilah, 20, in Qaffin village two days later by claiming he had thrown a Molotov cocktail at soldiers.
However, a report by journalist Gideon Levy suggests that Nafilah was shot out of spite after a verbal exchange with a soldier.
Israeli forces frequently gun down Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in what often amount to extrajudicial executions and killings:
Israeli investigations into such killings rarely result in any accountability for the soldiers or police officers involved.
The human rights group B’Tselem says that such investigations are “merely a fig leaf to silence criticism until the public outrage and media attention die down.”
Twenty-five Palestinians have died by Israeli fire so far this year, 17 of them in the West Bank.
One Israeli, a soldier, was killed in the context of the occupation during the same period.