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NGO decries ‘extrajudicial killing’ of Palestine driver

An Israeli rights group said Thursday that Saleh Barghouthi, a Palestinian taxi driver killed by Israeli forces last month, was shot at point-blank range in what appeared to be an “extrajudicial killing”. 

In a statement, B’Tselem, an Israeli rights NGO, said that — contrary to assertions by Israel’s Shin Bet security agency and the Israeli army — Barghouthi had not tried to resist arrest or run anyone over in his car.

Last December, two Israeli security vehicles blocked the path of Barghouthi’s taxi as it passed through the village of Surda near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Driving the taxi was 28-year-old Saleh Barghouti, husband and father of a five-year-old boy from the village of Kobar, which lies north of Ramallah,” the B’Tselem statement reads.

According to the rights group, Israeli security personnel then got out of the vehicles, surrounded Barghouti’s taxi, and fatally shot the driver at point-blank range. 

“They then pulled the [critically] wounded Barghouthi out of the taxi, handcuffed him and drove away with him,” the rights group reports.

The Israeli army claims Barghouthi — who died shortly afterward — was responsible for a shooting attack one week earlier on Israeli settlers north of Ramallah in which seven people were injured.

B’Tselem, however, asserts: “There is no way to justify what appears to be an extrajudicial killing rather than an arrest.”

It added: “Whether the incident is even investigated or not, Israel routinely sanctions the use of lethal force by its security forces against Palestinians.”

Sourse Anadolu Agency

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