Body of Palestinian shot during once-suspected terror ramming freed for burial

The body of a Palestinian man shot by a Border Police officer who believed him to be committing a ramming attack with terrorist motives will be returned to his family tonight for a small funeral, his lawyer tells The Times of Israel.

Nur Jamal Shuqeir, a 30-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, was pulled over by police officers at the Al-Za’im checkpoint outside of the capital. While being questioned, Shuqeir drove his car quickly toward a border guard, hitting and lightly injuring him, police reported at the time. Shuqeir was shot by other officers at the scene, fatally wounding him.

The incident was initially reported as a suspected terror attack, although authorities revised that assessment as more details emerged.

Israeli authorities have controversially adopted a policy of detaining the bodies of suspected terrorists as part of an attempt to deter future acts of violence and as bargaining chips in negotiations with terror groups.

Police inspect a car used in a suspected attempted car-ramming at the a-Zaim crossing outside Jerusalem on November 25, 2020. (Shlomo Mor)

That Shuqeir’s body is being returned makes it likely that his case is no longer being formally investigated as a terror incident.

A spokesperson for the Israel Police has not responded to a request for comment on the incident.

A spokesperson for the Police Internal Investigations Division tells The Times of Israel that the officers’ behavior during the incident is being “examined, but an investigation has not yet been opened.”

— Aaron Boxerman