Israel shoots dead 73-year-old Palestinian ‘on her way to lunch’
HEBRON // Israeli soldiers shot dead a 73-year-old Palestinian woman in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, while she was on her way to her sister’s house for lunch, her son said.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, a 23-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli security forces in clashes near the border with the Jewish state.
Tharwat Sharawi was killed by army fire at a gas station in Hebron.
The military claimed her car had slowed down and then sped toward the soldiers, who jumped out of the way unharmed before opening fire. But Sharawi’s son Ayoub, 52, denied that his mother intended to harm anyone. He said she had been on her way to her sister’s house for lunch when she was killed.
Sharawi, a mother of seven, was widowed in 1988 when her husband died from what Ayoub said was tear gas fired by Israeli troops near a mosque.
“If she had wanted to take revenge [for her husband’s death], she could have done that a long time ago,” he said. “There is no way she wanted to run over soldiers.”
Palestinian medics, meanwhile, said Sharawi had been driving in pouring rain at the time. They also said she did not intend to attack the soldiers.
Later in the Gaza Strip, Salame Abu Jamaa was shot dead in clashes near the Israeli border, the enclave’s health ministry said.
The Israeli army said he was fired upon after he breached the so-called “buffer zone” – which is on the Palestinian side of the border – as part of a group.
Also in Hebron, the Israeli military alleged that Palestinians fired at Jewish worshippers near a shrine in the city, wounding two people, aged 16 and 18.
In a separate attack, an Israeli man, aged 19, was seriously wounded near to the village of Beit Anon, south of Hebron, after allegedly being fired on by Palestinians, the military said. They said forces were searching the area for the attacker.
Tensions have been running high in Hebron, where hundreds of combat troops guard about 850 Jewish settlers in the downtown area where they live amid tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, an Israeli man standing outside an Israeli-run supermarket was seriously wounded in an alleged Palestinian stabbing attack. The army said troops were searching for the assailant who had fled the scene.
At least 72 Palestinians have been killed in the latest wave of violence to rock the region, while 11 Israelis have been killed.
Meanwhile, near the Israeli settlement of Psagot, close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, youths and soldiers clashed in a residential area during a torrential downpour.
The army fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Security forces also harassed journalists, throwing stun grenades and pointing guns toward them while shouting insults.
A woman who ran to take refuge in her house – one of whose windows had been smashed by what she said was an Israeli tear gas grenade – said she had not slept for days. “My children are living in fear. We hear the bullets flying day and night.”
In Hebron, a further 15 Palestinians were wounded in clashes, as security forces used live ammunition and tear gas.
* Associated Press, Agence France-Presse