West Bank

Video: Palestinian woman shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at checkpoint

Screenshot of a video of the event, which has been circulating on social media since September 18, 2019.
Screenshot of a video of the event, which has been circulating on social media since September 18, 2019.

Israeli forces opened fire on a Palestinian woman on Wednesday at the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank, near Jerusalem. They said the woman, who later died in hospital, had brandished a knife.

A 42-second video published on social media shows some of the scene as filmed from a vehicle. An Israeli soldier shoots at a woman on the edge of the road who appears to be moving towards him. She collapses and an object falls to the ground beside her.

In Arabic, the men in the car say, “He shot her! He shot her in the leg.” The guard, who is accompanied by at least two colleagues, approaches her and kicks the object away. The woman then seems to try to crawl away.

Warning: graphic images.

On Twitter, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said a “terrorist” had tried to attack the security personnel. He published a photo of a knife, supposedly the one dropped by the woman.

A police statement cited by The Times of Israel said that security forces asked the woman to stop when she approached them, but “she did not respond to their calls and took out a knife”.

The woman was then taken to Hadassah Hospital, where she died, according to the article.

Amnesty International has reacted by saying the footage “shows the woman standing some distance away from the Israeli guards [...]

“She did not appear to be carrying a firearm and did not pose any immediate threat to the guards or to the lives of people in the vicinity when they opened fire. This strongly suggests that her killing may have been unlawful.

“Under international law, lethal force must only be used when strictly unavoidable and in order to defend people from imminent risk of death or serious injury.”

On May 31, a 19-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli police after stabbing two Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The incident on Wednesday came the day after legislative elections in Israel, which have resulted in a deadlock.

>> ON THE OBSERVERS (2018): Al Jazeera reporter: Israeli soldiers "aimed at us intentionally"