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Palestinian killed by Israeli forces after crashing into West Bank bus stop

April 3, 2018 9:12 P.M. (Updated: April 5, 2018 11:49 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot and killed by Israeli forces Tuesday morning, after fleeing the site where his car crashed into a settler bus stop in the central occupied West Bank, near the illegal Ariel settlement.

Israeli media and army reported that the incident was being investigated, but “concluded in their preliminary findings was not a terror attack.”

The Israeli army said in a statement that the driver was being pursued in a stolen car when he crashed at the bus stop, which Israeli settlers use as a hitch-hiking spot, and then attempted to flee on foot and was shot by soldiers in the area.

The identity of the victim remained unknown. No Israeli injuries were reported.

Israeli news website Ynet reported that “investigators are now examining why the soldiers from the Kfir Brigade opened fire on the fleeing.”

Israeli forces have long been criticised by rights groups for their excessive use of force and what they have termed a "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 -- amid a backdrop of impunity for Israelis who committed the killings.

Meanwhile, a report released by Human Rights Watch last year documented “numerous statements” made by senior Israeli politicians and religious figures “calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”

HRW noted that Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy has received widespread support among Israeli citizens, citing a 2016 poll by the Israel Democracy Institute which found that 47 percent of Jewish Israelis supported the sentiment that “any Palestinian who carries out a terror attack against Jews should be killed on the spot, even if he has been captured and clearly does not pose a threat.”

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