Israeli troops kill man mistaken for Hamas leader

January 7th, 2011 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 7 (IANS) Israel’s military has expressed “regret” for having shot dead an innocent 67-year-old man in his bed, after he was mistaken for a Hamas leader, Sky News reported Friday.Omar Kawasme was killed during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron.

According to eyewitnesses, the soldiers were looking for Kawasme’s neighbour - a member of Hamas who had just been released from a Palestinian jail.

Kawasme’s wife, Sobheye, said soldiers broke into their home before dawn, entered their bedroom and fired several shots.

On Thursday, Palestinian authorities released six members of the Islamist Hamas group from jail.

One of the released leaders lived in the floor below Kawasme and it is thought Israeli troops may have been searching for him.

An Israel military spokesman admitted Kawasme was innocent and expressed “regret” for the mistake.

“There is no indication that he himself was a terrorist. He was not a target, it was definitely not intentional,” he said.

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