The Israeli armed forces claim to have “foiled an armed attack” and to have “neutralized a Palestinian aggressor” who allegedly fired on soldiers Wednesday morning at the military checkpoint of Huwara, south of Nablus in the West Bank. The Palestinians, however, say it was the “cold-blooded” killing of Bilal Rawajbeh, 29 years old, a Palestinian National Authority (PNA) security agent, married and father of a little girl.
How the events occurred had not been clarified, at least as of Wednesday night. A video posted online shows an Israeli soldier shooting at a stationary white car from a distance of about a meter. The images do not show what happened prior to the shooting.
According to the Palestinians, there was no “aggression” at all. They are talking about a possible car accident interpreted by the military as an attempted attack, and are denouncing the fact that Rawajbeh was denied assistance by soldiers as he was dying after being hit by 11 bullets, as they forbade an ambulance from approaching. Finally, they are accusing Israeli soldiers and policemen of “summarily killing” Palestinians whom they believe to be responsible for real or alleged attacks, even when they are injured and rendered harmless.
The work colleagues of the victim of the killing have said they were surprised by what happened. They said that Rawajbeh, who was expected at the office on Wednesday for a meeting, was a quiet person who divided his time between work and family.
Meanwhile, protests are continuing on account of the events that took place on Tuesday in Khirbet Hamsa al-Fawqa in the north of the Jordan Valley, under Israeli occupation, where army bulldozers tore down tents, sheet metal structures and solar panels belonging to 11 Palestinian families, leaving 70 people without shelter. According to the army, the families had been living on land that was being used for military exercises for some time.
The Israeli B’Tselem Human Rights Center reports that 20 Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are located in areas that have been unilaterally transformed by the army into shooting ranges or set aside for military maneuvers. For this reason, they are constantly threatened with expulsion.