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Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

West Bank farmer killed by troops

Relatives mourn at the farmer's funeral in the West Bank village of Yamun, 29 Oct
Relatives mourn at the farmer's funeral in the West Bank village of Yamun

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian farmer in the village of Yamoun in the north of the West Bank.

The Israeli military said Mohammed Abahereh, in his late sixties, opened fire with a shotgun he was carrying.

But his son said he was armed to defend his livestock from rustlers and was unlikely to have shot first.

Troops, settlers and farmers have been clashing over the olive harvest but this is the first Palestinian death for two weeks.

Ambulance row

Mohammed Abahereh's son Taher told Reuters news agency: "He was locking the gate and he heard something around us. He thought that it was thieves, so he went out with his shotgun and was shot immediately."

The Israeli Defence Forces said the incident happened while the soldiers were patrolling the area.

The Israelis rejected an allegation by Taher Abahereh that they had prevented an ambulance reaching his father after he had been shot.

They said they had guided the ambulance to the area so that it could get there as soon as possible.

Israeli forces carry out patrols and raids in the occupied West Bank, which they say target militants. Palestinian security forces also operate in some areas.

Three Palestinians were killed two weeks ago in clashes with Israeli security forces near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Last week an Israeli man was stabbed to death in an attack in the settlement of Gilo, which most Israelis regard as a southern suburb of Jerusalem.

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