Israeli Soldiers Randomly Kill Palestinian Youth during Arrest Raid

JERUSALEM, December 16, 2014 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Tuesday shot dead a Palestinian youth during an arrest raid in Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem at dawn, local sources reported.

They said Israeli troops raided the camp, triggering confrontations with the camp’s residents, during which the 21-year-old unarmed and unaware Mahmoud Adwan was hit with a bullet directly to his head, killing him soon after he was transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex.

Adwan was watching the confrontations between heavily armed troops and weaponless young Palestinians from the rooftop of his family’s house at around 3am when an Israeli soldier’s bullet hit him in the head. Confrontations erupted in the camp after Israeli soldiers unlawfully raided the village, ransacked homes and disturbed sleeping families.

The incident generated condemnations of Palestinian officials. The presidency condemned the murder of Adwan and called on the international community to intervene to put an end the ongoing crimes committed by Israeli soldiers and extreme settlers against unarmed Palestinians.

The Minister of Health Jawad Awwad also called on the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people who are being randomly murdered by Israeli forces.

Israeli troops left the village after shooting Adwan, detaining the 26-year-old Mujahid Hamad, who is reportedly a security guard for the Palestinian Football Federation. No information is available on the reasons behind Hamad’s detention.

The killing of Adwan comes shortly after the murder of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein who suffocated to death during a peaceful Olive planting event in the village of Turmus ‘Ayya, in the Ramallah governorate.

Abu Ein, a father of four, was assaulted and beaten by Israeli soldiers who later shot teargas canisters from a close range at the peaceful protestors causing him severe distress leading to a deadly heart failure.

The random killing of Palestinians during raids and peaceful protests in the west Bank is not uncommon. According to the Human Rights Watch 2014 report, “Israeli forces killed at least 15 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, most in circumstances that suggest the killings were unlawful.”

Israeli troops killing of Adwan is only a part of a longer series of incidents that rocked the camp in the previous years. In August 2013, three unarmed Palestinian youth were killed by Israeli troops after a similar arrest raid at dawn, during which soldiers used live ammunition against the protesting Palestinians. Meanwhile in 2011, two Palestinians were killed during another arrest raid on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to Grass Roots Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers regularly raid Qalandia refugee camp due to its location and proximity to the biggest checkpoint in the West Bank, Qalandia, which separates Ramallah from Jerusalem prohibiting Palestinians free access to the holy city.