Israel using 'shoot to kill policy': Palestinian prime minister

Israel using 'shoot to kill policy': Palestinian prime minister
Tensions have been high for weeks in the West Bank after a series of individual attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israel, and a series of Israeli military raids on the Jenin area.
5 min read
West Bank
12 April, 2022
Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in the West Bank between Sunday and Monday [Getty]

Israel practices a "shoot to kill policy" said Palestinian prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday, and called for "stopping Israel's aggression on the Palestinian people."

Shtayyeh added that "Israel is escalating its aggression on Palestinians everywhere, from Jenin to Hebron", further stressing that "the lack of political horizon and the Palestinians' anger at international double standards will make things escalate."

Shtayyeh's comments come after Israeli forces had killed four Palestinians in less than 24 hours, triggering Palestinian condemnations and reactions on the ground.

On Monday, a statement by the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces, a coordination body representing all Palestinian political factions, said that "Israel bears full responsibility for its escalation through daily raids, arrests and the policy of killing and liquidation."

The statement called for "unity and resistance", warning that "Israeli settlers’ daily storming of Al-Aqsa mosque and preparations to perform sacrifices in it, accompanied with the targeting of the city of Jenin and its refugee camp, threaten to destabilize the situation."

Meanwhile, protests emerged on various university campuses of al-Najah in Nablus and the Polytechnic University of Hebron. 

On Monday, dozens of students from Birzeit University came under attack by Israeli forces at the Beit El checkpoint, at the northern entrance of Ramallah.

Earlier in Jenin, north of the West Bank, 17-year-old Palestinian Mohammad Zakarneh succumbed to his wounds after being shot by Israeli forces on Sunday.

Zakarneh was wounded in the Jenin industrial zone after Israeli forces opened fire in the street at a car.

The Israeli army said that its forces opened fire on a car that was driven by two brothers of Raad Khazem, the Palestinian who killed three Israelis in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv last week, before being killed by Israeli police.

Khazem's brother told The New Arab's sister publication, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that he was driving his car with his 6-year-old brother and his mother when Israeli soldiers opened fire on him before he escaped the scene.

Zakarneh, who is not related to Khazem, was standing by when he randomly was fatally struck by an Israeli bullet.

Zakarneh's father told Palestinian media that his son was coming back from work when he was shot. "He was hurrying to have 'Iftar' at home, he didn't throw a single stone at them, he didn't do anything," he said.

The Israeli news website 0404 reported later that "a terrorist" had been killed in Jenin, while the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Khazem's brother had escaped.

Moreover, the Israeli army had also killed 21-year-old Mohammad Ghneim in the village of Al-Khader, near Bethlehem, south of the West Bank.

"Mohammad was approaching the separation wall alone when the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him," Ahmad Salah, a local activist in Al-Khader, told The New Arab.

"Nothing violent was happening, no one knows why he approached the wall," he added.

According to Israeli media, Ghneim allegedly was throwing Molotov cocktails at an Israeli road. 

"Mohammad was a construction worker," said Ahmed Salah. "He helped his family and was an important support to his parents, who are in a state of shock." 

In the village of Husan, south of Bethlehem, Israeli forces also shot and killed 47-year-old Ghada Sabatin, a widow and mother of six children.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, she died of severe bleeding after receiving a bullet in the thigh.

Video footage published by several Palestinian media outlets shows a woman approaching an Israeli soldier who points a rifle towards her, with her hands raised, before a fire shot is heard and the woman falls to the ground.

"Sabatin was crossing a military checkpoint in the village," Taha Hamamrah, a local activist from Husan, told The New Arab's sister publication Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"The occupation forces called on her to stop, but she didn't understand, so they shot her and wounded her in her lower limbs," he added.

The Israeli army said that Sabatin had apparently "approached soldiers in a suspicious manner," according to Israeli media.

The European Union representative office in the Palestinian territories said in a statement it was "horrified" by Sabatin's killing, calling for an immediate investigation.

Later on Sunday, Israeli forces also shot and killed a 24-year-old Palestinian woman at the entrance of the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. The woman was identified by the Palestinian health ministry as Maha Zaatari.

The Israeli army said that Zaatari had stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli soldier, according to Israeli media. Israeli forces continue to withhold Zaatari's body.

Tensions have been high for weeks in the West Bank after a series of individual attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israel, and a series of Israeli military raids in the West Bank, especially in the Jenin area.