HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and wounded a 13-year-old Palestinian east of Hebron city outside Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to commit a stabbing attack at the gate of the settlement.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the Palestinian teen had ran toward a bus station at the Elias junction near the entrance of Kiryat Arba and attempted a stabbing attack. The Israeli army “responded to the immediate threat by firing toward the instigator, who was then injured,” the spokesperson said.
Hebrew-language media also reported that when the Palestinian had approached the bus stop near the settlement, it “aroused the suspicions” of a group of Israeli settlers in the area, who then called over an Israeli soldier. The Palestinian then allegedly ran toward the settlers with a knife, and the soldier shot him in the stomach.
The army spokesperson added that the Palestinian was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem for medical treatment. No injuries were sustained among soldiers or Israeli settlers in the area.
Local Palestinian sources later identified the Palestinian as Hasan Issa Jaradat, 13, from the village of Sair in the Hebron district. The sources added that his injuries were serious.
Meanwhile, a video was later released of the incident after the teen was shot.
An Israeli officer in the video asked Jaradat what he was doing in the area, the teen replied that he came in order to commit suicide. “Why?” the officer asked him, but Jaradat only replied that he wanted water. The officer asked him if he had come to the area to commit an attack. The boy did not answer and instead continued to ask for water.
The video has prompted some to comment that the teen was attempting suicide, rather than actually seeking to commit an attack on Israelis.
Since Palestinians are almost always killed by Israeli forces during attacks, there has been rising suspicion that some Palestinian youth, facing extreme hopelessness from years living under a brutal military occupation or experiencing problems at home, decide to carry knives and approach Israeli soldiers with the knowledge that they will be shot to death.
Israeli forces routinely shoot Palestinians, oftentimes killing them, during actual or alleged attacks on Israelis, even if the Palestinian could be detained through nonlethal means. This Israeli practice has prompted rights groups to accuse Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial executions” on Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Hebron area has faced an uptick in Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian communities in recent weeks. Israeli settlers, in stark contrast to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, are rarely held accountable for attacks on Palestinians.
According to Ma’an documentation, 55 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year during actual or alleged attacks, while at least 18 of these Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli forces or during violent Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank.
Since the beginning of 2017, 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians, almost all of whom were uniformed Israeli officers or Israeli settlers residing in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.
Palestinians have often cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel’s nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for political attacks on Israelis.