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DURA: A Palestinian shop owner said Israeli troops used him as a human shield to protect themselves during a raid on the town of Dura in the occupied West Bank.

Mobile phone footage showed Baha Abu Ras being marched up a street by a soldier who guided him from behind with one hand and kept a rifle resting on his shoulder with the other. Two Israeli soldiers advanced carefully behind them, their rifles raised.

Abu Ras said he had been taken from his mobile phone shop on Monday in Dura, near the city of Hebron, after Israeli soldiers searched the premises during a raid in which Palestinian officials said two Palestinians were shot dead.

Israeli tanks storm back into north Gaza areas where they had withdrawn

“He (the first soldier) told me that he will use me as a human shield, that young people shouldn’t hurl stones,” Abu Ras told Reuters. “‘You will walk in front of me.’ That’s what happened and he took me toward the centre of the town.”

Asked about the incident, the Israeli military had no immediate comment. It said in an earlier statement that troops in Dura had used live fire to disperse about 100 people who had thrown stones and fire bombs at them.

Israel has carried out repeated raids on West Bank towns since fighter from the Hamas in the Gaza Strip went on the rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7, sparking the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The use of human shields is widely condemned under international law. Israel has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields in Gaza, allegations that the Hamas has denied.

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