NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A young Palestinian man from a northern West Bank village is believed to have been shot dead by Israeli forces six days ago when he was trying to enter Israel without permission.
Muhammad Mufeed Yousif Mustafa Thahir, a 20-year-old engineering student from the Nablus-area village of Yasid, was found dead last Friday, two days after he tried to enter Israel with a friend to find work.
The friend, Fadi Halayqa from al-Shuyukh village in Hebron, told Ma'an that after he and Thahir walked for two hours in an attempt to bypass al-Jabaa military checkpoint, he heard heavy gunfire and started to run back.
"I ran for about five minutes then stopped and hid. When I looked around I couldn't see Muhammad," he told Ma'an.
Halayqa highlighted that he and Thahir wanted to work during the summer holiday to help pay their university tuition fees.
"I am sure Muhammad was shot dead by Israeli soldiers," he said.
Two days later, Thahir's family was notified that he was dead.
"The Israeli forces handed over Muhammad's identity card and his mobile phone, but they have refused to deliver his body," says Muhammad's uncle Osama Thahir.
"They summoned us to Israeli intelligence office in Etzion ... and told us he was dead, but the intelligence officer refused to explain how he died.
"When we asked whether he was shot at, an officer said they were trying to reveal the real cause of death."
He said the body of Thahir was being held at Israel's Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir.
An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return emails or phone calls seeking comment.