Palestinian who shot at Israeli army killed or injured

A Palestinian man, described by the Israeli army as a suspect and his family as mentally handicapped, died on Saturday four days after he was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint.

Hussein Kawarik, 59, from the village of Awarta, was shot dead by Israeli forces on Tuesday at a checkpoint in Huwara, near the West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Israeli army told AFP that the soldiers “spotted a suspect approaching them at a military post” and initially fired into the air, “getting no response.”

“The suspect continued to approach the soldiers, who opened fire in his direction. A hit was detected,” the army said.

Huwara Mayor Wajih Ode told AFP that Kawarik was “mentally handicapped”. According to him, he “collected bottles and cans on the street and asked for money from local businesses.”

Kawarik’s family also said he had a “mental disorder,” Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. He died from his wounds at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel.

The army said it was investigating the fatal shooting.

At least 54 Palestinians have been killed since the end of March, mostly in the West Bank.

They included suspected militants as well as civilians, including Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akle, a dual Palestinian-American citizen who covered the Israeli raid in Jenin.

Attacks against Israeli targets resulted in 19 deaths during the same period, most of them civilians killed in attacks on Israeli territory. Three Israeli Arab attackers were also killed.