Palestinian shot by soldiers wasn’t carrying a knife, IDF finds

Army says initial reports that suspect tried to stab troops were wrong, launches probe after no weapon recovered

Palestinian village of Salfit in the West Bank. (CC BY-SA Anan.jalal, Wikimedia Commons)
Palestinian village of Salfit in the West Bank. (CC BY-SA Anan.jalal, Wikimedia Commons)

The army on Tuesday launched an investigation after soldiers shot a Palestinian who they said appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket, though no such weapon was recovered at the scene.

In a statement, the IDF said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel settlement “in a suspicious manner.”

The soldiers opened fire at one of the suspects after he “appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket,” the army said.

However, upon searching the area, near the Palestinian village of Salfit, the military found no knife, indicating the soldiers apparently opened fire in error.

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The Palestinian was seriously injured, suffering a head wound.

Israeli army medics treated the wounded Palestinian on the scene, before taking him to the hospital.

“The incident will be reviewed,” the army said.

The army’s statement, released Tuesday evening, conflicted with earlier reports from the afternoon, which claimed the injured Palestinian had been throwing rocks at soldiers and when confronted by them, took out a knife and tried to stab them.

An army spokesperson said she would not comment on the reports of rock throwing or on anything that happened prior to the shooting.

“It’s all being investigated,” she said.

Th incident came hours after the IDF arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife outside Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs.

On Sunday, an Israeli security guard was stabbed and seriously injured outside the Jerusalem bus station by a Palestinian terrorist, who was later apprehended.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the fact that the Palestinian man shot by soldiers wasn’t carrying a knife.

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