A Palestinian dies of his wounds by the Israeli army

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

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that Hussein Qawariq, 59, from the village of Awarta, was shot dead Tuesday by Israeli soldiers who were standing at a checkpoint in Hawara near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli army told AFP that soldiers “spotted a suspect approaching them from a military position” and initially fired in the air after they “received no response”.

The suspect continued to approach the soldiers, who returned fire at him. “The injury has been identified,” the army said.

Huwara Mayor Wajih Odeh told AFP that Qawariq was “mentally handicapped”. He said he was “collecting bottles and cans from the street and asking for money from businesses in the area.”

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Qawariq’s family also said that he suffers from a “mental disorder”. It added that he died of his wounds at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel.

The military said it was investigating the fatal shooting.

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

Among them were suspected gunmen and non-combatants, among them Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Oqla, a Palestinian-American with dual citizenship, who was covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.

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

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