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Palestinian youth killed by Israeli forces after alleged attempted stabbing near Nablus

Dec. 8, 2016 10:18 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2016 1:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli border police forces on Thursday morning in the northern occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement in Arabic that an 18-year-old Palestinian "suspiciously approached" Israeli border police officers in an attempt to stab them at the Zaatara junction south of the city of Nablus, prompting Israeli forces to shoot at him, killing him instantly.

Micky Rosenfeld, the English-language spokesperson for the Israeli police, said on Twitter that "Officers were in a life threatening situation" when they "responded to knife attack by a Palestinian terrorist."

However, footage taken from a moving car shared on social media purported to show the moments before the man was killed. He can clearly be seen standing immobile several meters away from soldiers who are holding him at gunpoint, seeming to contradict the Israeli authorities' claim that he posed a threat when he was shot.

Neither al-Samri nor Rosenfeld made mention of any Israelis being injured.

Locals identified the slain Palestinian as Muhammad Jihad Hussein Harb, 19, from Qalqiliya.

They added that large numbers of Israeli troops had arrived at the scene following the shooting, and that Israeli forces had closed the Zaatara intersection -- also known as the Tappuah checkpoint -- in both directions.

A video filmed by a passerby showed Israeli forces cordoning off the scene after the youth’s killing.

According to Ma’an documentation, Harb is one of 242 Palestinians to have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015, five of whom were killed at the Zaatara checkpoint.

Meanwhile, 34 Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

Throughout the unrest, rights groups have repeatedly denounced what they have termed Israeli forces' "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.

While Israel alleges many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

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