RAMALLAH – Israeli soldiers shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian north of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, January 29, Palestinian medical and security sources said.
The shooting, which took place just north of the Ofra settlement, was confirmed by the Israeli army in a statement that said a “terrorist” had opened fire at troops and they had returned fire, hitting him.
Palestinian sources identified the victim as Mohammad Mubarak, 19, from Jalazun refugee camp.
“A Palestinian terrorist opened fire at an IDF (army) post near Ofra. The soldiers responded immediately in order to eliminate the imminent threat to their lives and fired towards the terrorist, identifying a hit,” the army said.
Eye-witnesses told Agence France-Presse Mubarak was not armed, and had been harassed by soldiers who made him remove his clothes. The Israeli army distributed pictures of a gun it said Mubarak had used to open fire.
Palestinian sources said Mubarak was working as a laborer for a local construction company working on the road connecting Ramallah and Nablus, as part of a USAID-funded project. His father is local-elected leader of the Jalazun camp, they said.
Palestinian housing and public works minister Maher Ghneim condemned the Israeli army “cold-blooded killing” of Mubarak, during his work on a project coordinated by the ministry.
Ghneim called on international organizations to investigate the incident, and slammed Israeli media for “distorting the story” by saying Mubarak had initially opened fire at the soldiers.
Mubarak was being buried covered in the yellow flag of the Fatah movement his father represented.
It was the first time this year that a Palestinian has been killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank. Last year, 27 West Bankers were killed by the army, UN statistics show. – Rappler.com