Palestinian shot dead by Israeli army dies of his wounds

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

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

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

“The suspect continued to approach the soldiers who returned fire to him. A shot was identified,” the army said.

Huwara Mayor Wajih Odeh told AFP that Qawariq was “mentally handicapped”. He “used to pick up bottles and cans on the street and ask neighborhood businesses for money,” he said.

Qawariq’s family also said he suffered from a “mental disorder”, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. He succumbed to his injuries at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel, he added.

The military said it was investigating the fatal shooting.

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

They included suspected militants and also non-combatants, including Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a dual American-Palestinian national, who was covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.

Attacks on Israeli targets killed 19 people during the same period, most civilians killed in attacks inside Israel. Three Arab Israeli attackers were also killed.