Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israeli troops shot a Palestinian man to death on Wednesday in an incident the military said was sparked when the man opened fire on soldiers. His family disputed the account, saying he was killed without provocation.

Palestinian Red Crescent spokesman Ali Obedat identified the man as Mohammed Mubarak and said he was found with three bullet wounds in his back. His family said the 18-year-old was working for a road construction company when he was killed.

The Israeli military said its forces shot Mubarak after he opened fire at an army watchtower north of the West Bank city of Ramallah. Soldiers felt "an imminent threat to their lives" and shot Mubarak, the military said, adding that 12 bullet casings were found at the scene. Ohad Shoham, the soldier who says he shot Mubarak, told Israeli Army Radio the man was firing a gun.

Mahmoud Mubarak, the man's father, said his son did not have a weapon.

"He was shot while he was doing his job," Mubarak said. "All the eye witnesses who live there told me he was killed in cold blood."

Mohammed Mubarak had been working since early January for a road construction company, said his boss, Zuhair al-Nasser. Mubarak was in charge of redirecting traffic and held a stick for flagging vehicles.

Violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank has increased over recent months, as leaders continue peace negotiations that have failed to show tangible signs of progress.

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Associated Press writers Dalia Nammari in Ramallah, West Bank, and Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

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