Bed soaked with blood
Photo: AFP

Palestinian killed during IDF detention

Amr Qawasme, 65, shot to death for unknown reason as soldiers raid house in Hebron area. 'They put their hand to my mouth and a rifle to my head,' man's wife says. 'I asked them, 'What did you do?' They asked me to shut up.' Central Command chief orders investigation into incident

A 65-year-old Palestinian was killed early Friday during a routine Israel Defense Forces detention activity in the Hebron area. Five wanted terror suspects, who were recently released from Palestinian jails, were arrested in the operation.


During one of the arrests, the forces fired at Amr Qawasme for an unknown reason. The man received medical treatment, but died shortly afterwards. Central Command Chief Major-General Avi Mizrahi, ordered an investigation into the incident.


An IDF force arrived at a local house to arrest a Hamas member who was recently released from jail. According to neighbors, the detainee lives one storey below the killed Palestinian.

Qawasme's relatives mourn his death (Photo: AFP)


The dead man, Amr Qawasme, was asleep when soldiers broke into his home before dawn. His wife, Sobheye, said they brushed past her into the bedroom, where she heard several shots fired. When she went in, she found her husband in a pool of blood.


"I was praying when they entered. I do not know how they opened the door. They put their hand to my mouth and a rifle to my head," she told Reuters after Qawasme's body was removed.


"I was shocked. They did not allow me to talk. I asked them, 'What did you do?' They asked me to shut up."


Soldiers: We fired at moving figure

The dead man's son told the Maan news agency, "The soldiers entered our house when my mother was praying. They put her in my disabled brother's room, entered my father's bedroom and shot him. They left the house after arresting the Hamas man, who lives on the first floor of our building.


"The soldiers must have through that the activist lives on the second floor, so they immediately opened fire when they entered my father's room without verifying his identity."


The soldiers said they fired at a figure moving towards them. The Hamas member they were looking for was Wael Bitar. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered his arrest on Thursday along with several other Hamas prisoners who had launched a hunger strike in a Bethlehem jail. They have all been defined by the Palestinian Authority as prisoners jailed "for security reasons".


Last week, Palestinian protestor Jawaher Abu-Rahma, who took part in an anti-fence protest in the West Bank city of Bilin, died in a Ramallah hospital. According to Palestinian reports, Abu-Rahma died after inhaling tear gas during the rally. IDF officials questioned this version, claiming that the army did not make any exceptional use of gas.


Roee Nahmias and Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 01.07.11, 08:44
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