Soldiers unscathed in “attack” that leaves Palestinian dead

Bahaa al-Hirbawi (source)

The family of a Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday are rejecting the military’s claim that Bahaa al-Hirbawi, 23, was attempting a stabbing attack when he was slain.

Al-Hirbawi was slain at the Jabaa military checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. Photos published by Palestinian media outlets appeared to show multiple bullet wounds in al-Hirbawi’s legs, as well as his head.

No Israelis were injured during the incident.

Al-Hirbawi’s relatives told Palestinian media that the young man was on his way to Ramallah, where he intended to go shopping and visit his brother, when he was killed by soldiers.

His family, who learned of al-Hirbawi’s death through social media, said that he had not been previously detained and had no political affiliation.

Israeli forces raided al-Eizariya, where al-Hirbawi lived, and surrounded his family’s home and detained his father, who was taken to a settlement for interrogation.

Mother of slain teen arrested

On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers arrested the mother of one of three Palestinian teenagers slain in Jerusalem after an attack in which a Border Police combatant was fatally wounded on Friday.

Zeinab Ankoush was arrested during a raid on her home in the West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal and transferred to the Russian compound interrogation center in Jerusalem, a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority’s committee on prisoners affairs told media.

Ankoush was arrested over comments she allegedly made to the Israeli broadcaster Kan stating that she was proud of her son, Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, 18, and that she wished she had killed “20, 50, 100 of them.”

All three youths killed during the Jerusalem attack were from Deir Abu Mashal, which has been subjected to severe Israeli restrictions since the incident.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, people aged 15-25 are forbidden from entering or exiting the village.

Video uploaded to social media was said to show soldiers in the village preventing secondary school students from accessing their schools to sit for their final exams:

Israel imposed a full lockdown on the village following the incident, and gave notice to the slain assailants’ families that their homes would be demolished.

Israel also revoked 250,000 permits issued to Palestinians in the West Bank allowing them to visit relatives in Israel during Ramadan and the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Youths threw stones in an attempt to repel invading Israeli forces in the village early Wednesday:

Soldiers were photographed removing banners honoring the three slain youths in Deir Abu Mashal:

Israeli forces ransacked residents’ homes during the early Wednesday raid:

Israel weaponizes Jerusalem attack against PA

Israel’s economy minister has reportedly postponed a series of measures supposedly intended to bolster the Palestinian economy in protest of the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to condemn the Jerusalem attack.

The Israeli minister, Eli Cohen, canceled his meeting with his Palestinian Authority counterpart scheduled on Tuesday.

The suspended measures – never actually implemented – reportedly include “import quotas, easing the process of standards approval with the Standards Institution of Israel, easing the import and export of goods at the ports, and more,” according to the Israeli Ynet news outlet.

The Palestinian Authority loses $285 million in revenue each year under the current economic arrangements with Israel, which collects VAT, import taxes and other revenues on behalf of the PA, according to the World Bank.

The World Bank has called on Israel to reduce the PA’s financial losses, stating that a “systematic mechanism to stop the accumulation of these leakages,” as well as a revision of the “excessive” fee of 3 percent charged by Israel to handle Palestinian imports, “would be expected to generate in excess of $150 million per year in additional revenues for the PA.”

Cohen is not the only Israeli minister to exploit the Jerusalem attack to castigate the Palestinian Authority, which Israel’s domestic intelligence agency has credited for thwarting many other such incidents.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that the PA’s failure to condemn the Jerusalem attack “prove[s] there is no partner.”

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the “international community” to condemn the attack and demand a halt to payments from the Palestinian Authority to the families of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces.

During his briefing to the Security Council on Monday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, called on all parties to refrain from incitement and “clearly condemn all acts of terrorism.”

He added: “Palestinian officials and media outlets affiliated with Fatah continued to commemorate perpetrators of past terror attacks against Israeli civilians.”

Thirty-three Palestinians have been killed so far this year, including eight children under the age of 18, have been slain by Israeli forces and armed civilians so far this year.

Scores of Palestinians, many of them children, have been shot dead even when they posed no immediate threat to life over the past two years, as part of an apparent shoot-to-kill policy endorsed by the highest levels of the Israeli government.

Seven Israelis, most of them military forces, have been killed by Palestinians so far this year, as well as a British national.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.