October 28, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel Defense Forces troops shot and killed an elderly Palestinian farmer on Wednesday while operating near the West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday.

Palestinian security sources and the IDF both confirmed the incident.

An army spokesman said troops on patrol in the area shot the man after he opened fire at them.
A Palestinian security source identified the Palestinian as a 68-year-old farmer, Mohammed Abahreh, and said he was carrying a shotgun as he herded cattle in the village of Al-Yamoun.

The official Voice of Palestine radio reported that soldiers entered the village and surprised Abahri, who emerged from his house to check on a commotion he heard outside.

The radio said Abahreh, who supports a family of 14, was shot in the back and left to bleed for two hours until the soldiers ended their patrol and allowed a Palestinian ambulance to pick him up.

Abahreh's son, Taher, who was helping him herd the sheep in the early morning darkness in al-Yamoun village, said rustlers had tried in the past to steal the animals.

"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," Taher said.

The son said he had not seen the shooting but had heard the gunfire. He voiced doubts his father had shot at the soldiers.

"My father has never used his gun," he said, accusing the troops of leaving the shepherd to bleed to death and preventing an ambulance from reaching the area quickly.

An IDF spokesman denied the accusation, saying: "The troops did not prevent the evacuation and even guided the Red Crescent ambulance to the area so that it could get there as soon as possible."

Abahreh's son, Warrad, was also killed by Israeli soldiers three years ago, the report said.


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