Palestinians condemn ‘execution’ at West Bank checkpoint
The Israeli army said the Palestinian man was shot during a “violent confrontation,” but Palestinian officials called it a “execution” on Sunday at an Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.
The ministry slammed the “heinous execution” of Ahmad Kahla, 45, who was shot dead in the morning by troops near the village of Silwad north of Ramallah.
During a “violent confrontation,” in which an unidentified person “attempted to take hold of one of the soldiers’ weapons,” the Israeli military claims its members fired their weapons.
The man’s son, Qusai Kahla, said he was in the car with his father when they were stopped at the checkpoint.
“Soldiers came and they sprayed pepper spray on my face and pulled me out of the car,” the 18-year-old said at the family home in Rammun village.
To paraphrase, “I don’t know what happened after that,” he said. My uncle was the one to tell me that my father had been murdered.
The Israeli military claimed that they used “riot dispersal means in order to detain one of the suspects in the vehicle” after the Palestinians refused to stop.
Kahla was shot in the neck, the Palestinian health ministry said.
The army said no troops were hurt.
A military spokesperson said they could not comment on whether the civilian killed was armed or not or on the weapons used to stop the vehicle.
According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, soldiers ordered Kahla out of the car and shot him at “point blank” range.
Killing off “going to work”
An AFP correspondent reported on Sunday that dozens of people attended the funeral for Kahla, with some of them demanding vengeance.
Zahiya Kahla, the victim’s widow, claims her late husband was unarmed.
“He didn’t have a knife with him,” she told AFP. He was well-supplied and on his way to the office.
Including Kahla, AFP counts thirteen Palestinians killed in the territory this month, the vast majority by Israeli forces’ bullets.
As the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs put it, “it is easy for soldiers to kill any Palestinian without them posing any danger to the occupation soldiers” under Israeli leadership.
Israel’s most right-wing government in history was sworn in last month, including ministers known for their anti-Palestinian remarks who have taken over key powers in the West Bank.
The previous year was the deadliest on record for the West Bank since the UN began keeping records in 2005, and this month is already on pace to surpass that.
A surge in bloodshed last year saw at least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to an AFP tally.
The West Bank was the location of over 150 of the fatalities.