Ahmad Jamal Manasra

Simmering West Bank on verge of escalation

Killing of 4 Palestinians in the area in just 24 hours led to tensions among the locals running high; death of 28-year-old Ahmad Mansara is clouded by conflicting reports, some of which claim he was murdered by IDF troops in cold blood

Israel is facing the threat of an escalation of tensions in the West Bank, as well as in Gaza, after four Palestinians were killed there by Israel Defense Forces fire in just 24 hours. The latest death - of 28-year-old Ahmad Jamal Manasra from the village of Wadi Fukin - has generated considerable Palestinian outrage due to conflicting circumstances surrounding the incident, which occurred Wednesday night near an IDF post in the Bethlehem area.



The Israeli military said that troops stationed in the area where Manasra was killed, noticed a suspect hurling stones at vehicles and fired at the perpetrator. The 28-year-old was killed and another person was wounded.


Scene of the shooting    (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

Scene of the shooting   (צילום: גיל יוחנן)


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The Palestinians on the other hand, claimed that the IDF troops fired at a car of a Palestinian family and wounded the driver. Manasra, whose car was behind the Palestinian family, got out of the vehicle to help the hurt driver and was subsequently shot dead himself.


"The situation in the city is not good at all, our blood is boiling," said a resident of Bethlehem, a touristy city whose residents hold mostly moderate political views due to a thriving economy.


Ahmad Mansara
Ahmad Mansara


The incident might not have had such a resonance in the West Bank if Mansara’s death did not come following the killing of two Palestinians - who were hurling explosives at troops protecting Jewish worshippers near Joseph’s Tomb - in Nablus, as well as the terrorist, Omar Abu Lila, who committed the deadly attack at the Ariel Junction.


"He didn’t do anything illegal, he was murdered in cold blood," said Lutfi Assad from a village near Bethlehem. "It’s comparable to me being shot right now, in the middle of this interview," he added, looking straight at the military post from which the shots had been fired.


Ahmad Jamal Manasra's funeral  (Photo: EPA)
Ahmad Jamal Manasra's funeral (Photo: EPA)


In the meantime, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier General Eran Niv and Etzion Regional Brigade Commander Colonel David Shapira, conducted an investigation into the incident and didn’t rule out a possibility of a brawl between Palestinians, which involved the throwing of stones. The entire area is under the watchful eyes of security cameras, so it’s safe to assume the entire incident had been documented (although no footage has so far been released). In addition, the Military Police has also opened an investigation into the killing.


Manasra's funeral
Manasra's funeral


In light of the incident, the city of Bethlehem announced a general strike starting Thursday. "The atmosphere is very tense and people are nervous," said Mohammed Jafri, a resident of the city. "I don’t know if there are going to be revenge attack, but some people are enraged."


On Thursday afternoon, Manasra’s funeral got underway amid the outpouring of emotions among the locals of the village of Wadi Fukin. “My son died for Palestine and with the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated," said his mother ahead of the proceedings. "He stopped the car and all he wanted to do was help the wounded person," said Amin, a resident of a neighboring village.


פרסום ראשון: 03.21.19, 17:51
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