A shooting death of a Palestinian woman at security checkpoint for allegedly dismissing a request to show her purse to an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) serviceman manning a Hebron sentry post is stirring outrage among Palestinian settlers in the West Bank.
Hadil Hashlamoun, a 19-year-old Palestinian student, died several hours later while she was undergoing treatment at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Accounts vary as to what exactly prompted the shooting. The IDF initially stated Hashlamoun approached the sentry post and refused to open her purse or remove her niqab.
An IDF senior spokesman said Hashlamoun had triggered the alarm on a metal detector at the sentry post and was warned to stop. Their account suggests Hashlamoun paused briefly then moved toward the soldiers, threatening them with a knife.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said shots were fired by soldiers to remove the threat posed by a woman advancing towards them with a knife. The unit “acted in accordance with expectations, and that the whole incident will be investigated,” it said.
Palestinian witnesses, however, contest the IDF narrative: Witnesses state as Hashlamoun was stopped, she asked to have a female IDF servicewoman frisk her but had not produced a weapon.
One Palestinian, Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who witnessed the incident stated:
“I heard the soldiers screaming so I walked toward the checkpoint where I saw two soldiers aiming their weapons at a woman wearing all black and she was looking toward the soldiers. I offered to help them [the soldiers] communicate with the woman because she did not speak Hebrew. I asked her to move far away from the soldiers for her safety, but one of the soldiers came close to her and prevented her from walking away and fired bullets at the ground. At this point, four more soldiers arrived at the scene, so the number of soldiers became six, aiming their weapons at her and screaming at her. I told them to give me a minute to speak to her, but they refused and one of the soldiers sniped and shot her left leg so she fell to the ground. Then he shot her right leg, and seconds later he fired four bullets at her,” said Abu Aisheh
Wednesday’s incident inspired rioting near the military checkpoint; many Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs at IDF soldiers.
The IDF is investigating the incident.
[RT News] [JPost.com] [Photo courtesy Bodyonthelin.wordpress.com]