Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother after they allegedly attempted to carry out a stab attack on border police at Qalandiya military checkpoint near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, police and witnesses said. Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said two suspects — a woman and a youth — approached the vehicular path leading through the military checkpoint and walked towards border police officers, the woman with her hand in her bag and the youth with hands behind his back.
Officers ordered them to halt several times and they began to turn back before police said the woman threw a knife at an officer. Police opened fire, killing the woman immediately. The youth’s death was confirmed shortly after.
An eyewitness told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired more than 15 rounds into the woman’s body, confirming her death. Witnesses are heard in video footage of the scene following the incident claiming that a Palestinian boy approached the woman after she was killed, before being shot by Israeli forces as well.
The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that Israeli forces denied Palestinian paramedics access to the woman and child for medical treatment. The Palestinians were identified as 24-year-old mother of two Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim, according to a Palestinian military liaison. The siblings were from the West Bank town of Qatuna.The family later told Ma’an Maram was five months pregnant at the time of her death. No Israelis were injured in the incident.
The military checkpoint where the two were killed is a main access point for Palestinians to cross from the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem and has been the site of a number of alleged, actual, and attempted attacks since October.
The unrest of the past nearly seven months — marked by small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian youth, the majority on Israeli military targets — has decreased over the past month.
Wednesday’s incident marks the first alleged attack attempt since a Palestinian from Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem carried out a bus bombing in Jerusalem last week, dying later from his wounds and leaving 20 injured.
The violence has left nearly 30 Israelis and 200 Palestinians dead. According to the UN, investigations showed that Israeli forces have in a number of instances since the unrest began implemented a policy of extrajudicial execution, shooting dead Palestinians who did not present imminent threat at the time of their death.[Source: Ma’an news agency]