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Witnesses recount deadly West Bank raid

July 13, 2011 2:31 P.M. (Updated: July 14, 2011 4:20 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian student who died Wednesday in the occupied West Bank was shot before being arrested by Israeli soldiers, witnesses in his refugee camp said.

Ibrahim Sarhan was already bleeding profusely as soldiers surrounded a house in Al-Farah camp, refusing to allow ambulances to approach the area, witnesses told Ma'an.

"Me and Ibrahim finished dawn prayers and were walking home. After I arrived Ibrahim continued but moments later, I heard gunshots and loud shouting," said resident Abed Al-Aydi, 48.

"He was saying, 'Help me, help me,' and managed to reach one of the neighbors who offered first aid," Al-Aydi told Ma'an. "But the soldiers raided the home and arrested Ibrahim, leaving him bleeding to death."

Red Crescent official Adnan Al-Ghunaimi said "a long time" passed until medics were allowed access.

"We received Ibrahim from the Israeli army a long time after he sustained wounds to the thigh. The shooting severed a major artery, causing massive bleeding," the medical official told Ma'an.

"We tried to offer him treatment but he died shortly after arriving to Rafidia hospital," Al-Ghunaimi said.

Army officials have said an explosive device was hurled at troops who were in the area with the intention to arrest Sarhan and others. They say soldiers opened fire when Sarhan attempted to evade arrest.

"The soldiers followed standard procedure and fired at his lower body," an army spokeswoman said. The soldiers first warned him verbally to surrender but opened fire because he refused, she said.

"An IDF soldier treated him on the spot immediately," the official told Ma'an.

It was not clear why the army intended to arrest Sarhan.

His mother, Um Muhammad, says she was stunned when she heard the news from neighbors who flocked to her home to express condolences shortly after the student was pronounced dead.

"Oh God, my son was not wanted [by Israel], he was never arrested even once," she said.
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