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Israel kills Palestinian man in West Bank

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Source: Reuters

(Adds Israeli army investigating, Obama context, details) By Mohammed Assadi RAMALLAH, West Bank, June 5 (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man on Friday in a confrontation with stone-throwing protesters in the occupied West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. The violence took place as U.S. President Barak Obama, during a visit to Germany, urged both Israel and the Palestinians make tough compromises, in his latest call to resume the peace talks that stalled months ago. Medics said Aqel Srour, 35, was hit in the chest by a live bullet and another protester was wounded when soldiers fired at protesters in Nilin, a village near the city of Ramallah. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed a protester had died of his injuries and said Israel was investigating the incident. Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said border police and soldiers had been authorised to open fire on protesters, said to have numbered about 200, when the troops faced a life-threatening situation due to stone-throwing. Israel’s Channel One television said a policeman was suspected to have fired the lethal shot after being surrounded by masked protesters throwing stones at a close range. Rosenfeld said Srour had been active with Hamas, an Islamist group that rejects Israel’s existence. For about a year, Nilin has been the scene of weekly protests against the construction of an Israeli barrier that has cut through village farmland. These confrontations are often violent though generally troops avoid the use of lethal fire. Israel says the barrier it has built along its boundary with the West Bank, territory it captured in a 1967 war, is needed to keep bombers from infiltrating its towns. Palestinians denounce the network of fencing and concrete walls, which cuts into the West Bank in spots such as Nilin, as a land grab that denies them territory they want for a future state. In 2004 the World Court ruled the barrier was illegal. Obama, pressing on with efforts to resume peace efforts, said Palestinians had to “get serious about creating the security environment that is required for Israel to feel confident” to move toward a two-state solution. “Israelis are going to have to take some difficult steps,” added Obama, who has called on the Jewish state to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank. (Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Alison Williams)

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