This article has been updated with the Israeli Army statement on the targeting of the vehicle Fulla Masalmeh was in.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Fulla was 15 years old.
Jerusalem24 – 14-year-old Fulla Ramzi Masalmeh was shot dead in the head, Monday at dawn, by Israeli soldiers in Beitunia West of Ramallah while in a vehicle.
19-year-old Anas Hassouneh, who was also in the vehicle, was shot in the shoulder and then arrested by the same force.
An initial statement made at 8:35AM by the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that the General Authority of Civil Affairs informed them that 19-year-old Sanaa Al-Tal was shot in the head by Israeli forces during their storming of Beitunia.
At 2:51PM the Ministry of Health said in another statement, “We received an update from the General Authority of Civil Affairs stating that the name they received from the Israeli occupation soldiers is incorrect, which means that the Beitunia martyr is still unidentified.”
Media sources reported that the person shot and killed in the car is 14-year-old Fulla Ramzi Masalmeh.
At 4:12PM, the Ministry of Health issued a correction confirming that Fulla, who turned 15 on Tuesday, a day after she was shot and killed, is in fact the correct name.
A video circulating on social media shows the moment Israeli soldiers shot at a car in Beitunia.
The Israeli army said in a statement on 14 November that its forces arrested a person in the town of Beitunia.
“During the operation in the town of Beitunia, the IDF force detected a suspicious vehicle approaching in its direction. The force signaled the driver of the vehicle to stop, but he accelerated towards the force. In response, the force fired at the vehicle. Hits were detected. The circumstances of the case are clear.”
The video shows no such acceleration, and the soldiers are not in the trajectory of the vehicle.
“They left the person bleeding”
An eyewitness told Quds News that at 3:20 am, dozens of Israeli soldiers were raiding Tariq Al-Imwasi’s house and arrested him.
He added that around 20 soldiers were around Tariq while detained, “they dragged him out and then started beating him up, and flashing their lights on passing cars.”
“At 3:55 am we heard shots… once, twice, three times… I’ve seen soldiers behind a vehicle shooting at the car which was probably driving at speed 20, it stopped then a man got out of the car raising his hands, the Israeli soldiers attacked him and throw him to the ground, took his shirt off.”
The eyewitness recounts that the man was bleeding from his shoulder which is probably where he was shot, “Then the soldiers went to the other door, opened it, and moved a person out of the car to the ground, took all of its clothes off, and left the person bleeding.”
Two to three minutes later, two Israeli military jeeps arrived at the scene, “They checked the car, did something to it, and then left.”
Jerusalem24 visited the location where the incident took place, and was able to confirm that the Israeli soldiers, who were stationed next to a minimarket, were able to see the vehicle driving at a low speed on a main street in a neighborhood in Beitunia before targeting it, killing Fulla, and injuring Anas.
The United Nations special coordinator for the peace process, Tor Wennesland, called for a “thorough and immediate investigation into Fulla’s death.”
Appalled by the tragic killing of a 15-year old Palestinian girl, Folah Al-Masalmah, by Israeli security forces during a raid this morning near Ramallah. My heartfelt condolences to her family & loved ones. This requires an immediate and thorough investigation into her death.
— Tor Wennesland (@TWennesland) November 14, 2022
The European Union expressed its condolences, and said that “the incident” should be swiftly investigated and accountability ensured in a statement published on 15 November.
“In 2022, so far 32 children have been killed by ISF in the West Bank, in many instances through what appears to be excessive use of lethal force.”
1/3 Deepest condolences to the family of Fula Masalmeh who was to celebrate her 15th birthday today, but was tragically killed by gunfire from Israeli soildiers near Ramallah yesterday.
— EU and Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) November 15, 2022
The UK embassy in Jerusalem urged the Israeli authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into Fulla’s killing.