RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian motorist in disputed circumstances in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the latest casualty in a spate of violence.
The Israeli military said the man had tried to ram them but his family said they believed he had lost control of his car.
The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the killing, which it said was deliberate and an “execution”.
Reuters could not immediately verify either account.
The incident occurred near the city of Nablus, in the northern West Bank which has been a focal point of several months of violence, one of the worst such surges in several years.
The Israeli military said a soldier and a police officer saw a vehicle speeding up as it headed straight at them in an apparent attempt to ram into them. The soldier then shot towards the vehicle, it said, and the suspect was “neutralized”.
The driver’s family confirmed he was dead and said they believed the 36-year-old father and teacher had likely lost control of his car.
At least 70 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the Israeli military launched its Operation Breakwater against militants on March 31 in response to a string of fatal Palestinian street attacks in Israel. The toll includes militants and civilians.
U.S.-brokered peace talks between the sides, aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, collapsed in 2014, while Israel has expanded settlements in several areas.
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Angus MacSwan)