Three Palestinians — one man and two women — were shot and killed “meters away” from an Israeli checkpoint northeast of Bethlehem on Thursday, Palestinian Authority Police spokesperson Louay Irzeiqat said.
According to a police statement, four people in an unmarked vehicle stopped the three Palestinians and shot them. Irzeiqat said that the identities of the shooters remain unknown, but that PA law enforcement are mobilizing in the area to investigate.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said that they did not know of any involvement by Israeli security forces. Irzeiqat also did not suggest that the assailants were Israelis.
The three were shot near Qidron crossing, known to Palestinians as “al-Container.” The checkpoint is an “internal checkpoint” — rather than monitoring crossings into and out of Israel, it controls traffic between the northern and southern West Bank.
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In June, 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat was shot by Border Police at the same checkpoint while allegedly committing a ramming attack. His family disputes the claim, saying that Ahmed was merely rushing to pick up his sister before her wedding and lost control of the car.
The West Bank has seen an increase in violence this year due to the coronavirus crisis and the accompanying economic decline.