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Israel returns body of Palestinian girl who succumbed to injuries inflicted 2 months ago

May 21, 2017 10:12 A.M. (Updated: May 21, 2017 9:02 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities returned the body of Fatima Jibrin Taqatqa on Sunday who succumbed to her wounds the previous night, more than two months after the 15-year-old was shot and critically injured by Israeli forces in an alleged car ramming attack.

The Palestinian Committee of Civil Affairs said that Israeli authorities returned Taqatqa’s body at an Israeli checkpoint near the village of Husan in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Taqatqa, from the town of Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem, drove a car into a group of Israeli soldiers at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion on March 15, and Israeli soldiers immediately opened fire. No others were injured in the incident.

She was taken to Israel's Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, where she was treated for a critical head injury, and was pronounced dead on Saturday, Palestinian medical sources said.

On Sunday, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Tariq Rishmawi released a statement holding Israel responsible for Taqatqa’s death, and urged all legal institutions and the international community to take immediate action to stop the “Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people,” adding that the lack of immediate and clear actions by the international community “encourages Israel to commit more crimes.”

Taqatqa became the 24th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since the start of 2017, and the fourth to be fatally shot while allegedly committing a vehicular attack. Seven Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time frame.

According to Ma'an estimates, 13 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed at the Gush Etzion junction since a wave of unrest first erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015.

Israel has come under repeated criticism for using lethal force on Palestinians who posed no threat or could have been detained through nonlethal means, with the Palestinian leadership, rights groups, and the United Nations condemning Israeli forces of carrying out "extrajudicial executions."
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