Israeli troops kill a Palestinian in Gaza whose body is later seen dangling from the mechanical arm of a bulldozer, in video footage posted on social media by activists.

This picture taken on a mobile phone on February 23, 2020, shows Palestinians trying to collect a body as bulldozer approaches them, along the Gaza-Israel fence east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
This picture taken on a mobile phone on February 23, 2020, shows Palestinians trying to collect a body as bulldozer approaches them, along the Gaza-Israel fence east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP)

Israeli forces on Sunday shot dead a Palestinian near the fence with blockaded Gaza, before extracting his body with a bulldozer, the army said, sparking outrage. 

The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad said the man was one of its members, but it did not disclose what he was doing in the area.

In a statement, the Israeli military said soldiers opened fire at two Palestinians placing an explosive device next to the fence in the Hamas-governed enclave.

It said one of the men was killed and a military bulldozer removed his body. 

It was not possible to independently verify Israeli claims. Hamas condemned the desecration of the body in a statement. 

Witnesses and health officials said two other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli troops after a group of people tried to recover the body.

Video goes viral

Video footage shot by a Gaza photographer and posted on social media showed what appeared to be a lifeless figure dangling from the mechanical arm of the bulldozer, which was guarded by an Israeli tank, while unarmed men, were trying to collect it. 

The sound of gunfire is heard and the men ultimately run away.

The Gaza health ministry said that two civilians were wounded by Israeli troops at the scene.

Hawkish Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has pursued a policy of retaining the bodies of fighters from Gaza as bargaining chips to pressure Hamas, which governs the Palestinian enclave, and which has been holding the bodies of two Israeli soldiers since 2014.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies