Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian woman

An unidentified Palestinian allegedly injured three Israelis in what the Israeli army said was a drive-by shooting near Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

The same day, occupation forces fatally shot a Palestinian woman Israel claimed was attempting to attack soldiers at a military checkpoint near Bethlehem.

Israeli state broadcaster Kan posted a video taken by a nearby surveillance camera which appeared to portray the drive-by shooting incident at the Tapuach junction checkpoint near Nablus.

The footage shows a silver SUV approaching a white guard shack where people are unloading a car.

Meanwhile, two men are walking towards the shack with an Israeli soldier following them.

The silver vehicle briefly stops in front of the shack and there appears to be a commotion as an apparent shooting happens.

The Israeli soldier then appears to fire towards the vehicle, but it leaves the scene.

Three Israelis were injured in the shooting.

Israeli media reported one to be in critical condition, another in serious condition while the third was released from hospital.

All three are 19-year old students at a religious college in Itamar, one of Israel’s colonial settlements built in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.

The vehicle suspected of involvement was found in Aqraba, a Palestinian town near Nablus on Monday, local media reported.

Pictures circulated on social media show Palestinian Authority security forces arriving at the scene in what is likely coordination with Israeli occupation forces looking for the alleged attackers.

The vehicle appears to have been set on fire by local people shortly afterwards:

Delivering on threats

The Israeli army said it would increase its forces across the occupied West Bank to search for the alleged attackers.

The exact number of people involved is unclear.

Naftali Bennett, an Israeli lawmaker and head of the right-wing Yamina party, said Israel must respond with “an iron fist” and by “maintaining our grasp on the land of Israel.”

Bennett has previously bragged that he has “killed lots of Arabs.”

In response to the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened that Israel will “strike severely at our enemies.”

Israeli occupation forces and settlers acted on those threats overnight on Monday.

Settlers from the colony of Shilo attacked the Palestinian village of Jalud near Nablus in apparent revenge.

Settlers threw rocks and set fires in the village, and punctured the tires of several Israeli police vehicles.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem circulated footage of burned village land the next day:

Israeli settlers also smashed cars and windows of Palestinians:
“Where was the army?” B’Tselem said, “It was there and joined the rioters.”

Although the settlers were the aggressors against the Palestinian village, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and other weapons at Palestinians.

Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians and zero Israeli settlers, The Times of Israel reported.

Woman killed

Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian woman at the Gush Etzion junction near Bethlehem.

The Israeli army claimed Fahima al-Hroub, 60, was attempting to stab soldiers when she was shot.

Video shared on social media appears to show al-Hroub slowly approaching two Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint.

She is carrying a handbag over her right arm and an object appears to be in her left hand, but it is unclear what it is.

The soldiers order al-Hroub to stop and raise her hands, and at least one of them fires a warning shot into the air.

Al-Hroub appears to flinch from the sound of the shot, but continues to move slowly towards the soldiers.

The person filming the incident temporarily retreats from the scene, and the moment Israeli soldiers shoot al-Hroub does not appear in the footage.

When the scene is back in the frame, al-Hroub is lying on the ground as Israeli soldiers stand near her.

One of the soldiers shot al-Hroub in her upper body, Israeli media reported, citing a medical organization.

Al-Hroub was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where she was pronounced dead.

At no point does the video show al-Hroub close enough to the heavily armed soldiers to pose a lethal threat and she appeared to be several meters away when the warning shot was fired.

As in other incidents where occupation forces resorted to deadly force against a Palestinian, the soldiers did not appear to attempt to overpower her with nonlethal means.

No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, the army confirmed, as in many previous cases in which an alleged Palestinian attacker was killed.

The Israeli army posted on Twitter a picture of the knife it said al-Hroub was carrying.

Al-Hroub was from the nearby village of Husan.

Last month, Israel announced the seizure of large tracts of land from Husan and the adjacent village of Nahalin in order to expand the Jewish settlement of Beitar Illit and its access road.

Al-Hroub’s brother told Tel Aviv daily Haaretz that she was in poor mental health and had attempted suicide after she was laid off from her beauty salon job because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday’s incidents come after disturbing videos surfaced in April showing mobs of Israeli Jewish youths rampaging through occupied East Jerusalem and attacking Palestinians.

More than 100 Palestinians were injured as a result of mob violence provoked by the far-right Jewish group Lehava.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.