Ahmad Mustafa Erakat, 26, was driving a rental car on his way to pick up his mother and sisters from a beauty salon ahead of a family wedding when he was shot by Israeli Border Police at the Container checkpoint near the village of Abu Dis on 23 June.
Israel claimed that Erakat had intentionally rammed soldiers with his car.
Video of the incident shows the vehicle swerving toward the checkpoint, knocking a soldier to the ground and reportedly causing light injuries. The driver exits the vehicle and within seconds, he is shot while running backwards from the soldiers.
The footage indicates that Erakat posed no immediate threat and Israeli forces did not attempt non-lethal means of detaining him before shooting to kill.
Erakat’s family said he was “killed in cold blood.”
Israel is holding Erakat’s body, along with the remains of more than 60 other Palestinians recently killed by its occupation forces.
Last year, Israel’s high court approved withholding the bodies of slain Palestinians so they may be leveraged in political negotiations.
Erakat is the fourth Palestinian killed so far this year in what Israel claimed were car-ramming attacks.
An independent UN commission of inquiry found that Israel’s use of lethal force against protesters warrants criminal investigation and prosecution and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Two dozen Palestinians have died by Israeli fire so far this year. One Israeli, a soldier, was killed in the context of the occupation during the same period.
Gaza infants die
Meanwhile in June, two infants in Gaza died after being denied access to medical treatment as Israel’s siege on the territory entered its 13th year.
“Israel’s permit system, an integral part of the illegal closure of Gaza, is an arbitrary and unnecessary measure that unlawfully preconditions urgent and lifesaving care for thousands of Palestinians,” human rights groups stated.
The babies died after the Palestinian Authority curtailed its dealings with Israel, including coordinating permits, in protest over the latter’s plans to formalize its annexation of occupied West Bank land.
Human rights groups called on Israel’s defense ministry to allow travel from Gaza “irrespective of coordination with the Palestinian Authority.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the West Bank and Gaza Strip spiked in the second half of June.
The total number of COVID-19 cases quadrupled from nearly 700 on 16 June to more than 2,700 as of 30 June, “one of the highest rates of increase reported worldwide during this period,” according to the UN monitoring group OCHA.
“Six people died, bringing to 11 the cumulative number of fatalities” in the Palestinian territories, OCHA added.
All new cases were recorded in the West Bank, with Hebron, its most populous city, the epicenter of the recent outbreak.
OCHA attributed the surge “to the relaxation of restrictions and lack of compliance with public health regulations on the part of the population in previous weeks.”
The Palestinian Authority announced a five-day full lockdown on the West Bank beginning 3 July to curtail the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus cases were on the rise in Israel as well, with its health minister stating that the country is “at the start of a second wave.”
There have been more than 26,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Israel, more than 300 of them fatal.
The global number of coronavirus deaths passed the 500,000 threshold in late June, a quarter of those fatalities occurring in the United States.