Monday, September 25, 2017

Eyewitness reports: Palestinian girl shot dead in Hebron was unarmed


By Amy Mac - September 23, 2015
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Hebron] [Israeli army] [Extrajudicial Killing]

The funeral was held this morning for Hadel al-Hashlamon, the 18-year-old Palestinian girl who died after being shot by an Israeli soldier at a Hebron checkpoint in the West Bank.

Witnesses claim around 5000 people attended the funeral in Hebron, which remained peaceful despite rising tensions across the city.

First year university student Hashlamon was shot at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and died later that day in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

According to Israeli officials, "the attacker attempted to stab a soldier," and the soldier then fired live ammunition at her "lower extremities."

It later emerged that Hashlamon was shot multiple times, including in the chest.

 

No Israeli soldiers were injured.

Witnesses of the attack have refuted the Israeli army’s claims that Hashlamon was armed with a knife.

An activist who witnessed the event told The New York Times that Hashlamon had appeared to be opening her purse for inspection when she was shot.

The activist’s version of events has been corroborated by a number of Palestinian news outlets and activist groups.

Eyewitness Fawaz abu Aisheh, 34, was quoted as having said: “[Hashlamon] was covered completely, there was no knife showing at any time. Even if she did have a knife he could have arrested her so easily.”

Aisheh also claimed Hashlamon was disoriented and scared, unable to understand the Hebrew language that Israeli soldiers were shouting at her.

Dramatic photographic evidence has been released since the shooting, further appearing to contradict the army’s account that Hashlamoun was armed.

Photos released by Hebron-based activist Group Youth Against Settlements (YAS) show the girl without a knife, standing at a distance from the Israeli soldiers moments before they opened fire.

“The photos were from the first moment she went to the checkpoint until she was shot. She didn't have a knife,” Issa Amro, coordinator of YAS, told the Palestine Monitor.  

 

Additional footage from Palmedia shows Hashalmon bleeding to death on the sidewalk and an Israeli soldier dragging her body along the ground and out of the camera’s view.

She was reportedly left on the street for up 30 minutes before receiving any treatment.

An Israeli army spokesperson for the unit told the Jerusalem Post  that Hashlamon had received medical care from nearby forces, though the footage has raised further questions about the reliability of the Israeli army’s account.

With the majority of Palestinians in Hebron believing the Israeli account of the shooting to be a fabrication, there is a growing sense of frustration and disillusionment amongst the community.

“They feel if the soldiers start shooting innocent women and they claim she had a knife when she didn't, it’s the start of giving soldiers the free hand to shoot whoever they want,” said Amro.   

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called on the UN to form a committee to investigate the shooting, Ma’an News reported.

Hashlamon’s death came just hours after a 21 year old Palestinian man, Diyaa Abdul-Halim, was killed during clashes with Israeli security forces in Hebron, with conflicting reports of how he died.  

A report by an Israeli army spokesperson said that "initial inquiries suggest the suspect attempted to hurl an IED at an army vehicle when it detonated.”

Meanwhile, local popular committee spokesman, Ratib al-Jubour, has been reported as saying that the man was shot and killed by Israeli forces during a raid near the village of Khursa.

 

The deaths occurred as tensions heightened this week as the Muslim holiday Eid Al Adha overlaps with Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, both of which started on Tuesday at sundown.

 

The holidays come after weeks of violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians across the West Bank and Jerusalem in response to entry restrictions at Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.

 

 

 

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