Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Attempted attack (archives)
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Palestinian shot to death at roadblock

Troops open fire at man approaching IDF force southeast of Nablus with broken glass bottle in his hand, say he refused to stop. Palestinian eyewitnesses: He was unarmed. Army launches investigation into incident

Terror attack thwarted: A Palestinian man was shot to death Sunday morning at the Bekaot roadblock, southeast of Nablus, after allegedly trying to stab soldiers with a broken glass bottle. There were no injuries among the troops.


The Israel Defense Forces reported that the man approached the soldiers, who launched a suspect detention procedure. He was shot to death after refusing to stop, even after the soldiers fired in the air as a warning.


Medical teams dispatched to the area proclaimed the man dead. Red Crescent sources told Palestinian news agency Maan that the man had been identified as Mahmoud Muhammad Darajme, 21, of the village of Tubas.


Dr. Khatem Farouoh, who witnessed the incident, told Maan: "I was standing on the eastern side of the roadblock when I suddenly heard screaming. I turned around and saw a young man in a brown shirt and jeans raising his hands. Shortly afterwards, two soldiers fired at him from three meters away and he fell down."


Other eyewitnesses said the Palestinian had crossed the roadblock with a soft drink in his hand. "He was unarmed. When he crossed the checkpoint, he passed by a woman soldier who started yelling at him. The soldiers immediately fired at him, intensively, and he died on the spot," one of them said.


The independent Sama news agency reported that the incident took place after "a heated exchange of words." According to one of the eyewitnesses, "We heard intensive fire and the soldiers screaming, and saw a body lying on the ground after being sprayed with bullets."


According to the official Wafa news agency, Darajme was shot on his way to work. A Red Crescent medical source said the body was handed over to the organization at the checkpoint without any identifying documents, and that the man's certificates and cellular phone were confiscated by the soldiers.


"This is an inhuman act of revenge, said Said Darajme, the man's relative. "He was not a problematic person and never planned to target soldiers at the roadblock. Unfortunately, killing Palestinians has become a matter of routine. We are being treated like animals, and I hope that whoever investigates this incident punishes the soldiers who killed Mahmoud."


Was shooting necessary?

An initial IDF inquiry raises questions regarding the need to open fire. Military sources noted that an investigation had been launched into the incident and that the army was examining whether it was necessary to shoot the Palestinian.


This was the second stabbing attempt in less than 24 hours. On Saturday evening a Border Guard force arrested a young Palestinian in possession of a knife, on suspicion of trying to stab two female soldiers leaving an Israel Defense Forces base in Gush Etzion.


On the backdrop of Sunday's incident, military sources noted that the commanders had briefed their soldiers on firing procedures in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria areas, for fear that such incidents will ignite the tensions.


"In situation with a clear and immediate danger, the instruction in unequivocal – to open fire," a military source told Ynet. "However, the soldiers and commanders must use their judgment rather than easily push the trigger when there are other alternatives, or when their life is not in danger."

   Palestinians have tried in the past to smuggle weapons through the same roadblock. In March, an IDF force of the Kfir Brigade's Haruv Battalion uncovered three pipe bombs in the possession of a Palestinian who arrived at the Bekaot roadblock.


Two months earlier, soldiers located in the area a Palestinian trying to smuggle six explosive devices. The man was arrested and the devices were detonated in a controlled manner.


Hanan Greenberg, Roee Nahmias and Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 01.02.11, 09:20
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