Shadi Salim, 41, shot dead near the occupied West Bank village of Beita, the site of protests against an Israeli outpost.
A Palestinian was killed in Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, the scene of clashes between protesters and Israeli forces for weeks, Palestinian officials said.
Shadi Omar Lotfi Salim, 41, was shot and killed Tuesday night near the Palestinian village of Beita, a flash point, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
Beita’s deputy mayor, Mussa Hamayel, told AFP news agency that Israeli soldiers killed the man as he entered the village when he returned from work.
“He was killed in cold blood,” the deputy mayor said, adding that there were no protests in the area Tuesday night.
The local Palestinian news agency Maan cited security sources as saying that Salim was killed in an ambush that the Israeli army had prepared for him at the village crossing.
Salim was responsible for hydraulic engineering in the village municipality and became the seventh Palestinian to be killed since protests began in Beita against the illegal settlement established on village lands last March.
اعتاد فنيّ المياه الشهيد شادي عمر الشرفا تلبية نداء الواجب منذ سنوات ، بالعمل على توصيب الهمي دل الميه # بيتا، حينما تمعن سلطات # الاحتلال وإدارة شركة “مكروت” الإسرائيلية في قطع المياه أو تخفيفها عن بلدة بيتا التي تعاني منذ سااوات ندص.#savebeita pic.twitter.com/QGPqO5UTlA
– mujahed moflh | مجاهد بني مفلح (@mujahedmoflh) July 27, 2021
Translation: Water technician Shadi Omar has been working to bring water to his city for years, as the Israeli authorities and the administration of the Israeli water company Mekorot deliberately cut off or decreased the water supply to the city of Beita, which suffered from severe water shortages for years.
The Israeli army issued a statement saying that while on routine duty, the soldiers “saw a Palestinian suspect in the area” south of Nablus.
“When the Palestinian began to advance rapidly towards the troop with a suspicious object identified as an iron bar in hand, the troop acted to arrest the suspect following standard procedures, including firing warning shots into the air,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
“When the suspect continued to advance, the troop commander fired at the suspect. The incident will be investigated, ”he said.
Protests in Beita against the Israeli army broke out after the news of Salim’s murder, and the Red Crescent documented 106 wounded Palestinians.
‘The protests will continue’
For several months, Beita has been the scene of frequent unrest, as dozens of Israeli families settled on the village’s Mount Sabih and began building the wild outpost of Evyatar in defiance of Israeli and international law.
The land expropriation threatened the livelihoods of at least 17 Palestinian families, more than 100 people, who depend on the olive harvest on land they have owned for generations.
After weeks of protests by Palestinian residents of Beita, the government of Israeli nationalist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett struck a deal with the settlers that saw them abandon the Evyatar outpost.
In addition to rudimentary houses built by settlers, a military base and a religious school, or yeshiva, also remained at the outpost, until the Israeli defense ministry determines whether the land can be considered state territory.
The agreement was rejected by the mayor of Beita, who said last Thursday that “clashes and protests will continue” as long as some Israelis “remain in our land.”
All Jewish settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal by most of the international community.