Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man with a live bullet in the head on Friday.
Atef Yusef Hanaisheh, 45, was participating in a demonstration against settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, when he was killed.
Hanaisheh is known as the muezzin at a village mosque – the person who makes the call to prayer from the minaret.
Local media circulated video of the immediate aftermath of Hanaisheh’s shooting, showing demonstrators rushing to carry him.Witnesses said Hanaisheh was shot at close range, according to Tel Aviv daily Haaretz.
A photographer with Reuters who was at the protest said Palestinians threw stones at two Israeli soldiers when they opened fire at protesters.
The Israeli military said it responded with “riot dispersal means and by firing into the air,” according to Reuters.
The military said that the “cause of the injury is still unknown” – in reference to Hanaisheh’s killing.
Heavily-armed Israeli occupation forces routinely respond to Palestinians throwing stones by firing tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets or live fire.
Hanaisheh was transferred to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus with a severe head injury where he was pronounced dead, the Palestine Red Crescent Society told Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Palestinians marched to retrieve Hanaisheh’s body from the hospital and held a public funeral:Local media also circulated pictures of Hanaisheh at past demonstrations to defend village land against theft by soldiers and settlers: A photo of a fellow demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag smeared with Hanaisheh’s blood was also shared on social media: Palestinians from Beit Dajan hold weekly Friday protests against Israeli settlement encroachment on their land.
Israel confiscated about 50 acres from the village and built two Jewish-only settlements: Hamra and Mekhora, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ). Israel also confiscated village land to establish a military base.
Israeli forces systematically attack Palestinians defending their land against Israel’s violent theft and colonization.