Palestinian cousins shot dead by Israeli army

Palestinian cousins shot dead by Israeli army
Three members of the same family were shot dead by the Israeli military during an attack on Thursday, with reports of a fourth Palestinian killed near Hebron.
2 min read
07 January, 2016
One of the Kowasba cousins following the attack [Twitter]
Three Palestinians were shot dead during an alleged attack on Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank on Thursday, according to the Palestinian ministry of health and the Israeli military. 

Alaa Abdel Kowasba, 18, Ahmed Salem Kowasba, 21, and Muhanned Ziad Kowasba, 20, all from the town of Sair, northeast of Hebron, reportedly bled to death before ambulances arrived.

"Three attackers, armed with knives, attempted to stab soldiers guarding the Gush Etzion junction," a statement from the Israeli army said, adding that troops responded by firing at the assailants.

Locals told al-Araby al-Jadeed on Thursday evening that Israeli military forces were still combing the area.  

No injuries to Israeli soldiers have been reported.

Also on Thursday night, 16-year-old Khalil Mohammed was shot dead in the town of Beit Hanoun, near the western entrance to the town of Sair.

Local sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed that Israeli soldiers had shot him from a distance, blocking off the area and preventing Palestinian ambulance crews from reaching the teenager.

Khalil was the younger brother of Khalil Mahmoud Shalaldeh, a 22-year-old who died of wounds sustained at the hands of the Israeli military in November last year.

Twitter users described 18-year-old Alaa as "a martyr":

Gush Etzion is a settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, and its main road junction has been a focal point of clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli military.

Last Tuesday, 17-year-old Ahmed Younis, another member of the Kowasba family, was shot dead at the junction after lightly wounding an Israeli.

Rallies have reportedly been held in Sair in response to the four deaths.

The latest shooting brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since tensions escalated in the West Bank in October to 149.