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Military Police probe troops’ killing of Palestinian near West Bank highway

Ra’id Jadullah was shot by soldiers who were looking for firebombers along Route 443; army doesn’t claim he was attempting an attack

Illustrative: an ambulance and IDF troops are seen on Route 443 near Beit Horon, on August 15, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: an ambulance and IDF troops are seen on Route 443 near Beit Horon, on August 15, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Military Police have opened an investigation into the death of a Palestinian man, who was shot by Israeli troops under unclear circumstances near a highway in the West Bank.

On Tuesday night, Israel Defense Forces troops were carrying out a “proactive operational activity” on Route 443, near an area where Molotov cocktails had been thrown at Israeli vehicles a number of nights earlier, the military said in a statement Thursday morning.

The road, which traverses the West Bank and passes near Beit Ur al-Tahta, is used by many Israelis on their way to or from Jerusalem.

Ra’id Jadullah, 39, was identified in the area by IDF lookouts. Troops then opened fire toward Jadullah, who fled, the IDF said.

The military did not say that Jadullah was engaged in activity that justified his shooting. Generally, soldiers are permitted to open fire if their lives are in danger, and a suspect has the means and intent to commit an attack.

About an hour and a half after he was shot, Jadullah arrived at the nearby Maccabim checkpoint with gunshot wounds in his chest and leg. He received medical treatment at the scene, but ultimately his death was declared by medical officials.

Palestinians participate in the funeral of Ra’id Jadullah, 39, on Wednesday, September 1, 2021; Jadullah was allegedly shot by Israeli troops (WAFA)

The IDF said Thursday that it was investigating the incident, as well as opening a Military Police probe, which is to submit its findings for examination by the military prosecutor’s office.

Jadullah, 39, was returning from his work as a gardening contractor inside Israel, official Palestinian Authority media reported.

Jadullah’s friend Ibrahim Zaki told official PA television that Jadullah had informed them he would be home by 9:15 p.m. for dinner. When Jadullah failed to arrive, Zaki went looking for him along with Jadullah’s son. They found only a trail of blood outside the village’s western entrance.

Jadullah, an East Jerusalem resident who had moved to the West Bank, was survived by his wife and five children, the al-Quds Arabic-language daily reported.

“Everyone uses this road, late into the night, especially those who work inside Israel,” Zaki told PA television.

The Palestinian Authority foreign ministry condemned the shooting as a “heinous crime” in a statement on Wednesday.

Jadullah’s death “is the latest in a series of summary executions perpetrated by the occupation forces deployed at the checkpoints of death,” the ministry said.

According to the United Nations, 61 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in confrontations with Israeli soldiers so far in 2021.

Some Palestinians were shot during armed clashes between terror suspects and Israeli soldiers, such as an incident in early August that saw four Palestinians killed in a firefight in Jenin refugee camp.

Others, however, were killed in more ambiguous circumstances. In one case, Mohammad al-Alami, an 11-year-old boy from Beit Ummar near Hebron, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in a car at the entrance to his hometown in late July. The soldiers believed the car to have been carrying suspects who had buried a baby on the outskirts of the town earlier that same day.

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