Israel probes Palestinian pepper-sprayed and shot
The Israeli army’s military police unit says it is investigating after a Palestinian driver was shot dead at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank over a week ago.
The military initially described Ahmad Kahla, who was 45, as a terrorist who had tried to carry out an attack.
However, Israeli media said a leaked preliminary report found the father of four was killed unnecessarily.
A video showed a scuffle with soldiers before Mr Kahla was fatally shot.
“How can I explain to you what I feel psychologically or physically?” his son, Qusai, who is 20, told the BBC.
“We were on our way to work together before this happened with the soldiers. Then we were separated, and I only saw my father again when they brought his body to the hospital.”
Witnesses said a line of traffic had formed as Israeli forces subjected them to lengthy vehicle checks to enter or leave the village of Silwad, north of Ramallah.
Qusai Kahla recounted how his father pulled over when he saw that a driver on the other side of the road had a flat tyre and got out to help him.
About 10 minutes later, he said, when he rejoined the queue, angry Palestinian drivers honked their horns thinking he was pushing in. Then a soldier came towards them and threw a sound bomb at the car’s front windscreen.
“My father opened the window and started arguing with the soldier. He asked him: ‘Why did you hit the car?’ As one soldier went to my father’s side, another came to me,” Qusai said.
“He had pepper spray and he sprayed it on us. Then he opened the door and took me out of the car. They took me away and I could hear fighting and a gunshot. I couldn’t see anything. Then after 10 minutes, I heard an ambulance.”
Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan, quoted an initial military inquiry as saying that a tussle ensued as a soldier tried to drag Mr Kahla from his vehicle.
He apparently tried to pull at a gun which had been used to hit him and was then shot. —BBC