Family members of two Palestinian siblings recently slain by Israeli troops at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank say Tel Aviv regime forces killed them without any reason.
The parents of 24-year-old Maram Abu Ismail and her 16-year-old brother, Ibrahim Taha, said on Thursday that they they did not pose any threat to anyone’s life and were attacked without provocation by the Israeli forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint between al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the city of Ramallah on Wednesday.
Human rights groups say the latest deaths raise new questions about Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinians.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem said Thursday that it often finds the “degree of threat posed by the individual was much lower than was claimed” by Israeli forces.
Israeli sources have claimed that troops gunned down the siblings on Wednesday after they ignored calls to stop and Maram threw a knife at a policeman guarding the checkpoint. No Israelis were injured in the incident.
Witnesses have disputed this version of events.
An eyewitness told Palestine’s Ma’an news agency that Israeli forces fired over 15 rounds at the woman’s body.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the woman was killed immediately, but her brother’s death was confirmed shortly after he was shot.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent has said that Israeli forces denied Palestinian paramedics access to the victims for medical treatment.
The occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.
The Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the holy Muslim site. Palestinians are also angry over Israeli settler attacks in the occupied territories and repeated desecration of the al-Aqsa compound by extremist settlers, who are usually accompanied by Israeli military forces.
At least 210 Palestinians, including women and children, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada since October 2015.