Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the West Bank town of Beit Ur al-Tahta on Wednesday to mourn Ra’id Jadullah, who Palestinian officials said was shot by Israeli soldiers the previous night.
Jadullah, 39, was reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday night as he returned from his work as a gardening contractor inside Israel, official Palestinian Authority media reported. Palestinian Authority health officials announced his death just after midnight on Wednesday.
An Israeli army spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but a media report indicated soldiers shot him after suspecting he was planning to attack drivers on a West Bank highway mainly used by Israelis.
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 show, 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.
Israel’s Army Radio said the man was shot by Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were monitoring Route 443 after receiving reports of cars being firebombed. 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.
“Everyone uses this road, late into the night, especially those who work inside Israel,” Zaki told PA television.
On Tuesday night, the forces saw a suspect igniting a fire near the road, shot at him and saw him flee the scene, the report said, adding that no firebomb was found.
About an hour and a half later, a man arrived at the nearby Maccabim checkpoint with gunshot wounds in his chest and leg, the report said, adding that he was apparently the man shot earlier.
"وحيد أهله وأبٌ لثلاثة أطفال.. | صورة الشاب رائد يوسف جادالله الذي ارتقى برصاص #الاحتلال_الإسرائيلي عند المدخل الغربي لقرية بيت عور التحتا غرب رام الله خلال عودته من الأراضي المحتلة عام 48".#فلسطين pic.twitter.com/CWV0CVYOOP
— المقدسي للإعلام (@AlmakdesyMedia) September 1, 2021
Soldiers tried to give him life-saving medical treatment but ended up pronouncing him dead, Army Radio said.
The Palestinian Authority foreign ministry condemned the shooting as a “hideous crime” in a statement on Wednesday.
Jadullah’s death “is the latest in a series of field 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 during 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 which saw four Palestinians killed in a firefight in Jenin refugee camp.
Others, however, were killed in more ambiguous circumstances. Eleven-year-old Mohammad al-Alami, a 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.