Israeli forces shot and killed six Palestinians over the weekend, including three children and a woman, and critically injured a 14-year-old girl.
On Sunday night, two Palestinians were shot dead after allegedly attempting to carry out an armed attack outside Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
Omar Ahmad Omar and Mansour Yasser Abdulaziz Shawamra, both of them 20-year-olds from the West Bank village of al-Qubeiba, were carrying explosives, homemade Carl Gustav-style rifles and a knife, according to reports.
Shawamra was reportedly an officer with the Palestinian Authority security forces, which Israel has heavily relied on to repress resistance against the military occupation.
He is the third PA officer in recent months to have been slain while allegedly carrying out an attack. Last month a staff sergeant was shot dead after opening fire at soldiers at a checkpoint and another officer, Mazen Oraibi, was slain during a similar incident in December.
According to the Israeli police narrative, Omar and Shawamra were stopped by police stationed in the area and asked to throw aside the bag one of them was carrying.
A police spokesperson told the Ma’an News Agency that one of the men “pulled an automatic weapon from the bag before police officers shot him dead. The second Palestinian was shot dead when he opened fire in their direction shortly afterward.”
No Israelis were injured.
Damascus Gate, the eastern entrance to the walled Old City, has been the site of several deadly incidents in recent months.
Boys shot dead
Also on Sunday, Israeli forces shot and killed Nihad Raed Muhammad Waqed and Fuad Marwan Khalid Waqed, both 15, in the northern West Bank after they allegedly opened fire at soldiers, an army spokesperson told Ma’an. No Israelis were injured during the incident near the village of al-Araqa, west of Jenin.
Palestinian emergency medics were reportedly prevented from providing treatment at the scene.
“Soldiers reported that one of the Palestinians was armed with a makeshift weapon and another was carrying a knife,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported.
The boys’ families “vehemently denied the army’s claim they had fired at the soldiers and said the two were roaming farming lands owned by the family that are adjacent to [Israel’s] West Bank barrier,” Haaretz added.
“I know the families and the two youths, these are not families that deal with arms or have access to arms,” a teacher in al-Araqa who knew the teens told the newspaper. “These are just kids and to attribute an attempted shooting to them sounds highly unlikely or believable.”
Also killed on Sunday was Naim Ahmad Yousif Safi, a 17-year-old from the village of al-Ubediya, east of Bethlehem, who was shot after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint north of the West Bank city.
An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma’an that the teen approached soldiers while carrying a knife.
“Spotting the knife, Israeli soldiers shot at Safi,” Ma’an reported, adding that no soldiers were injured.
A Palestinian public prosecutor said that an 18-year-old woman shot by soldiers on Saturday could have survived her wounds had she not been left to bleed to death.
“The forensic physician identified a massive pulmonary hemorrhage as the cause of Kilzar’s death, and it would have been possible to save her life if she had had medical treatment,” Ashraf Mishal, head of the public prosecution in Hebron, told Ma’an.
“A Palestinian at the site of the attack was also stabbed by the young woman under circumstances that remain unclear,” according to Ma’an.
“A witness told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to grab the young woman after she stabbed the soldier, in what the witness believed to be an attempt to protect the woman from getting shot,” the news agency added, noting that the witness “believed the young woman may have mistaken the man for an Israeli settler.”
The injured Palestinian man was identified as 52-year-old Abed al-Rajabi.
The Old City of Hebron, where Saturday’s incident took place, has been designated a closed military zone since November and its residents subjected to severe movement restrictions.
Hebron, and its Old City in particular, bore the brunt of Israel’s crackdown during the first two months of the sharply increased deadly confrontation that began at the outset of October.
In Hebron’s Old City, hostile settlers guarded by the Israeli army live in close quarters with Palestinians.
One day after al-Uweiwi was killed, another Palestinian teenager was shot and critically wounded at the same site.
Israel claimed that 14-year-old Yasmin Rashad al-Zarou had attempted a stabbing attack when she was shot.
But Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the girl was with her sister, and neither had attempted any attack when soldiers opened fire.
“Locals said the two girls had crossed an Israeli military checkpoint known as 160, after which the girls walked a few meters past the checkpoint, when Israeli soldiers fired at the 14-year-old who was walking away from the soldiers, critically injuring her,” according to Ma’an.
No Israelis were reported to have been injured during the incident.
Video of the girl bleeding in the street emerged “minutes after the attack,” according to Ma’an.
The video is marked with the logo of a group called “A Friend in Need,” which supports Israeli soldiers in Hebron. It is apparently narrated by the man who recorded it, who says in Hebrew, “A terrorist with this knife, who came here in an attempt to stab Border Patrol soldiers. She’s currently seriously wounded.” The video pans to a kitchen knife, which appears to be clean, lying next to the tire of a van.
A voice from a person outside the camera’s view asks, “She’s not killed yet?” as the girl moans and writhes on the ground.
The narrator then calls for the area to be isolated and directs attention to the girl’s bag, shouting at the soldiers to “watch out what’s happening on the roofs.”
Another video from the scene shows a soldier violently flipping over a man using a wheelchair while Israeli forces repelled Palestinians attempting to come to the aid of the wounded girl:
On Monday, more than two dozen Palestinians were injured, one seriously, in al-Amari refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah as residents confronted raiding Israeli forces.
That same day, Israel indicted Dima al-Wawi, 12, from the West Bank town of Halhoul, near Hebron, on charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
The girl was arrested in a settlement north of Hebron last Tuesday while allegedly carrying a knife.
A video of the incident broadcast on Israeli TV shows the girl lying on the ground with her hands tied behind her back as a resident of the settlement who arrested her asks her whether she came to “kill Jews.”
The young girl, wearing her school uniform, replies in the affirmative to the man who keeps a pistol trained on her.
The girl’s family asserts that Israel’s version of events is untrue and that they have been prevented from speaking to her, and that she was interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer.
The girl’s brother, Muhammad, told the Quds news network that he suspects Israeli interrogators coerced the girl to sign a confession in Hebrew, which she does not understand – a common practice used against Palestinian children who prosecuted in Israel’s military court system.
Meanwhile, the village of Nahalin near Bethlehem has been under lockdown for the past week, “ever since a man was stabbed and wounded near the settlement of Neveh Daniel and the attacker apparently fled to the village,” Haaretz reported.
“The closure has affected students and school pupils, Palestinian Authority workers and others who work outside the village, as wells as laborers who work in the settlements and in Israel proper,” the paper added.
A pregnant woman from the village was delayed at a checkpoint when she was in labor and attempting to get to a hospital on Friday. Soldiers refused to let the woman cross unless she was in an ambulance, forcing her to wait for one, Ma’an reported.
Three Palestinians were wounded during the incident, one moderately, and all were detained.
Israel’s domestic spy agency, the Shin Bet, stated on Monday that nearly half of the 228 attacks it says have been waged since October were “committed by assailants aged 20 or under,” Haaretz reported.
Approximately 30 Israelis and 170 Palestinians have been killed during that period.
Most of those Palestinians killed – including more than two dozen children – were shot dead during what Israel says were attacks – usually incidents of car-ramming or stabbing at West Bank settlements and checkpoints.
Dozens of others were killed while participating in demonstrations or being in the vicinity of protests in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In other cases, Palestinians may not have been attempting any attack when they were slain.
A Jerusalem man shot dead by Border Police after he allegedly stabbed an elderly Israeli woman in October was finally buried overnight Monday.
The body of Ahmad Abu Shaaban, 23, was one of 10 Jerusalemites still being held by Israel, which has placed severe restrictions on their burial.
Israel has delayed the transfer of the bodies of dozens of Palestinians in recent months, hampering independent investigation of their deaths.
Dena Shunra contributed translation from Hebrew.
- Omar Ahmad Omar
- Mansour Yasser Abdulaziz Shawamra
- Palestinian Authority
- Israeli Border Police
- Nihad Raed Muhammad Waqed
- Fuad Marwan Khalid Waqed
- Naim Ahmad Yousif Safi
- Kilzar al-Uweiwi
- Ibrahimi Mosque
- Yasmin Rashad al-Zarou
- Dima al-Wawi
- excessive use of force
- extrajudicial executions
- Ahmad Abu Shaaban