Israeli soldiers kill alleged ‘armed’ Palestinian in occupied West Bank

The illegal Israeli settlement of Efrata, on the southern outskirts of Bethlehem, with a sign on the highway indicating the route to the illegal settlement block of Gush Etzion, in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)

Israeli soldiers shot dead a young Palestinian man near an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

Israeli officials claimed that the Palestinian man had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.

Israeli occupying forces near the scene of the shooting in the Gush Etzion Junction on Jan. 31, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

According to the Palestinian health ministry, the young man, who has not yet been identified, died after Israeli forces opened fire towards him near the illegal Gush Etzion settlement south of Bethlehem.

Local media, citing eyewitnesses, reported that the man was left to die and was prevented from receiving emergency aid following the incident. 

Israeli forces surround the body of the Palestinian man shot and killed. (HAZEM BADER/AFP)

Meantime, the Israeli army issued a statement saying that an early report showed that a stabbing operation was attempted at the Gush Etzion junction. Further details are being investigated.

“A young man armed with three knives joined to a stick attempted to stab soldiers who had been working in the Gush Etzion junction, where a soldier responded by shooting & wounding the young man, without any casualties among our forces,” the statement added.

Last week, Palestinian teenager Attallah Mohammad Rayyan was shot dead by British-Israeli soldier Lian Harush.

Attallah Mohammad Rayyan.

The soldier was guarding the Gitit Avishar junction near an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank when Rayyan allegedly approached soldiers with a knife.

The incident was criticized by Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), an independent NGO set up to monitor Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian children.

The organization said the Israeli soldiers were wrong to use deadly force against the teenager.

Account Information

Numerous Palestinians have been shot and assassinated in recent years at checkpoints in occupied territories allegedly to avert attacks against Israeli soldiers.  

In June last year, the murder of an unarmed disabled Palestinian, 32-year-old Eyad al-Halak, by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem sparked an uproar.

The mother of Eyad al-Halak holds her son’s photo in her hand.

After months of legal proceedings, the Israeli Ministry of Justice said that Halak “posed no danger to anyone in the area” when he was murdered and that the officer who shot him did so against orders.

Palestinians have often accused Israel of carrying out sketchy investigations into crimes committed by Israeli forces or Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

Israelis are rarely tried for killing Palestinians, and if found guilty, usually receive lenient sentences.

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