This article has been updated to include new details surrounding the circumstances of the killing of Jawad and Dhafer Al-Rimawi.
Jerusalem24 – Three Palestinians including two brothers have been shot and killed by the Israeli military during two separate military raids in the West Bank.
44-year-old Mufid Mohammad Mahmoud Khalil was shot and killed during confrontations that erupted between local residents and the Israeli army shortly before midnight following an army incursion in Beit Ummar in Hebron.
According to an Israeli army statement, a military jeep broke down near the town. Residents came to throw stones at the vehicle, and the soldiers fired live ammunition at the crowd.
The Red Crescent Ambulance reported nine injuries from live ammunition, including Khalil who was shot in the head, and two injuries due to tear gas inhalation. All nine injured by live ammunition were hospitalized in Hebron. The Ministry of Health announced Khalil’s death shortly before 2 AM.
A comprehensive strike is taking place in Hebron today, with all commercial outlets closed, in mourning for Khalil.
Separately, the Israeli military sealed the main entrance to the nearby Khadourie University with cement blocks.
Brothers Jawad Abdul Rahman Al-Rimawi, 22, and Dhafer Al-Rimawi, 21, from the village of Beit Rima north of Ramallah, were shot and killed during confrontations that erupted with local youth when the military raided the nearby village of Kafr Ein before dawn.
Mowaffaq Sahwil, secretary of the Fatah movement in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate, said that preliminary investigations indicate that the Israeli military were firing live ammunition at the Palestinian youth. When Jawad was shot in the pelvis, Dhafer went to evacuate his injured brother and was immediately shot in the chest.
Both were transferred to Al-Istishari hospital in Ramallah, where Jawad was declared dead around 7:30 AM. The Ministry of Health announced Dhafer’s death less than half an hour later.
Jawad was a graduate of the Faculty of Economics at Birzeit University, while Dhafer was a student in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the same university. Birzeit University has released a statement in mourning for both brothers.
The National and Islamic Forces in Ramallah and Al-Bireh have announced a comprehensive strike across the governorate today, with all commercial outlets and some public institutions closed, in mourning for all three Palestinians killed overnight.
The Palestinian Bar Association also announced a one-day suspension of work in all courts and institutions in Ramallah and Al-Bireh, as well as the Hebron Governorate.
Rules of engagement
The Israeli military have now shot and killed 140 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem this year, including 35 children. At least 85 of these were not involved in direct, armed confrontations with or attacks against the Israeli army or civilians when they were shot and killed, according to documentation collected by Jerusalem24.
A further 11 Palestinians including two children have died due to Israeli action, Israeli settlers, or Israeli military intervention in the West Bank. Three West Bank Palestinians were also shot and killed inside Israel, two during documented attacks on Israelis and one during an alleged attack.
Senior Israeli military sources were quoted by Haaretz yesterday as saying that the high number of Palestinian casualties proves that the army’s rules of engagement aren’t too restrictive for Israeli soldiers, as has been claimed by certain political parties vying for even looser terms and who believe soldiers’ “hands are tied”.
The Israeli military amended its rules of engagement in the West Bank in December 2021, officially allowing soldiers to shoot-to-kill Palestinian stone-throwers even if they are fleeing and presenting no danger. 2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians (and Palestinian children) in the West Bank since the Second Intifada.
A US request for Israel to review its rules of engagement, which was issued following the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper in May, met with public derision from both Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid as well as Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz earlier this year.