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Israeli army 'kills Palestinian worker' near West Bank wall

Ahmad Harb Ayyad's family claims he died after being physically assaulted by soldiers while he was attempting to cross into Israel to reach his workplace
Ahmad Harb Ayyad, 32, died near the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm (Twitter)
Ahmad Harb Ayyad, 32, died near the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm (Twitter)

The family of a Palestinian worker has accused the Israeli army of causing the death of the 32-year-old after physically assaulting him near the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm. 

The Israeli army denies knowledge of the incident.

Ahmad Harb Ayyad, who is from Gaza, came under fire from soldiers along with a group of other Palestinians while trying to cross the barrier to reach his workplace in Israel, his uncle Jamal Ayyad told Middle East Eye. 

The group managed to get away from harm but were then apprehend and beaten by soldiers, Jamal added.

Ahmad was then taken to a Tuklarm hospital but due to the seriousness of his condition he was transferred to a hospital in the nearby city of Nablus where he died shortly after.

His body was handed back to the family in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army via the Beit Hanoun crossing late on Monday, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Israeli army told Middle East Eye it was "not aware of any such event with involvement of IDF soldiers."  

Crackdwon on workers

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the killing as a crime and placed the blame on the Israeli government.

For months, Israeli forces have been attacking workers along the separation wall in the villages and towns of the West Bank, preventing thousands from reaching their workplaces inside Israel and arresting many.

In June, Israeli forces killed another Palestinian worker near the separation wall in the south of Qalqilia city in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

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A ministry statement published by Wafa news agency identified the worker as Nabil Ahmad Ghanem, 53, a resident of Nablus. He was on his way to his workplace inside Israel when soldiers opened fire on him and he died instantly.

The Israeli army said in a statement at the time that its forces "shot and wounded a suspect who tried to infiltrate through the wall near Qalqilia into the Green Line, where he was transferred to the hospital in critical condition, and there the doctors announced his death".

The same month, two other Palestinian workers were wounded after Israeli soldiers opened fire towards them near the town of Idna, Hebron district, the Arab48 news website reported.

Israel began building the separation wall, known by Palestinians as the Apartheid Wall, in 2002 claiming it was aimed at protecting its citizens from attacks.

However, the International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the wall violated international law because it led to the destruction and confiscation of Palestinian lands and property, and imposed unlawful restrictions on the movement of Palestinians.

More than 65 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces this year, including journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent TV reporter with Al Jazeera.