PA says Israeli shooting ‘dangerous escalation’ 2Jan10 January 3, 2011

Ma’an News Agency -  2 January 2011

RAMALLAH (AFP) — A senior Palestinian official on Sunday condemned the death of a man shot dead by Israeli troops at a West Bank checkpoint, calling it a “dangerous escalation”.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the death of Mohammed Daraghme, which came less than 48 hours after the death of a Palestinian protester who inhaled massive amounts of tear gas at a demonstration.

“The Israeli escalation in the last two days is aimed at demolishing any hope of a peace process, and we ask the US administration and the international community to take necessary steps to stop the dangerous escalation against the area,” he told AFP.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers shot Daraghme because he approached the Nablus checkpoint in an unauthorized lane, carrying a glass bottle, and did not heed orders to stop. Soldiers acted according to operational procedure, she said.

Palestinian Red Crescent medics said the 21-year-old’s body was riddled with bullets.

Eyewitnesses said they saw Dharaghme approach the checkpoint holding a can of Coca-Cola. As he came close to a female soldier, witnesses said, she started shouting at him, and immediately two other soldiers showered him with gunshots.

Another witness, Dr Hatim Froukh, said Dharaghme’s hands were raised when soldiers opened fire.

“I was standing at the eastern side of the checkpoint waiting for the bus when I heard screaming. As I turned, I saw a young man wearing jeans and a brown jacket and raising his hands. Two male soldiers and a female soldier were three meters away from the young man and started shooting at him,” Froukh said.

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