Israel dismisses PA claim that Hebron attacker was left to die
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Israel dismisses PA claim that Hebron attacker was left to die

IDF medical staff tried to save assailant’s life, army says, also rejecting official PA news agency claim that teen was victim of settler attack

Illustrative: IDF soldiers stand with their weapons during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron, on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers stand with their weapons during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron, on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa said Saturday that a Palestinian teenager shot dead as he tried to carry out at stabbing attack in Hebron earlier in the day had been “left to bleed to death” by IDF troops who prevented him from receiving medical treatment. The IDF swiftly rejected the claim.

The attacker was identified by Palestinian and Hebrew media reports as Fadel Muhammad Kawasmeh, 18, from Hebron.

According to initial reports, Kawasmeh approached his would-be victim, an Israeli Jewish resident of Hebron, pulled out a knife and lunged; he was shot by the armed Israeli man, who was not hurt in the attempted attack.

But, reported Wafa, “witnesses and security sources” said that Kawasmeh was shot by the Israeli from the settlement of Beit Hadassah after the settler verbally abused and cursed him. Wafa said the teen was shot four times as he tried to walk away from the encounter.

The IDF denied on Saturday night that the Palestinian had been shot in an unprovoked attack, telling The Times of Israel that it stood by its initial assessment of the situation. The army also rejected a claim by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that soldiers planted a knife on the assailant after he was shot. The object that Ma’an claimed to be a knife, IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner said on Twitter on Saturday, was in fact an army radio.

Regarding the claim that he was denied treatment, the IDF told The Times of Israel that after the Palestinian was shot, soldiers hurried to the scene and IDF medical troops began to perform lifesaving procedures. The attacker was then rushed to a doctor who determined that he had succumbed to his wounds.

This is not the first time that the Palestinian Authority has produced a conflicting account of an incident in which a Palestinian was shot dead after carrying out a terror attack.

Earlier this week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Israeli security forces had “executed” a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed two people in Jerusalem. Israel subsequently produced images of the boy, who is being treated at Hadassah Medical Center in the capital.

An official from Abbas’s office walked back the accusation Friday, saying that the PA president had been misled when he made the accusation in a speech to the Palestinian people on Wednesday.

Gal Berger, Israel Radio’s reporter on the Arab world, said that an official from Abbas’s office told him that the president “was given the incorrect information right before the speech as a last-minute addition.”

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