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Palestinian woman shot dead after her car hits vehicle, 2 Israelis lightly injured

June 24, 2016 3:25 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2016 6:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian woman was shot and killed Friday afternoon after her car crashed into a stationary vehicle, lightly injuring two Israelis in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank in what the Israeli army has claimed was a car-ramming attack.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that after a Palestinian woman allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack near the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the eastern outskirts of Hebron, Israeli forces responded by firing towards the "assailant," killing her.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed her death, identifying her as Majd al-Khadour. Israeli sources said she was 18 years old.

The two Israelis, reportedly a man and woman in their 50s who had stopped outside the settlement to pick up hitchhikers, were immediately evacuated for treatment at Israel's Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Witnesses told Ma'an they saw Israeli forces open heavy fire at a Palestinian female inside a red car at the entrance of Kiryat Arba.

Various Israeli news outlets initially reported that the suspected attacker had been "neutralized." Israeli media often uses the term "neutralized" in initial reports to indicate that a suspected attack has been subdued, when it is later revealed they had been injured or killed on the scene.

Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post had reported that the Palestinian woman was in critical condition, though it was not immediately clear if she had been killed immediately or if she received any treatment.

Photos published by Israeli media show a red car heavily damaged to its front in what appeared to be a collision, with several bullet holes through the windshield.

The circumstances of the incident were still unknown. Some Palestinian social media outlets reported that eyewitnesses told them the incident appeared to be car accident, not a premeditated attack.

Video released by Palestinian media of the incident, however, appear to show the car speeding towards a small junction popular for hitchhikers which usually has Israeli military personnel stationed there. 

Israeli forces have closed the Beit Einun conjunction and the northeastern entrances of Hebron, witnesses added.

Al-Khadour's killing came days after Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens while they were driving in their car. The Israeli army said initially that Mahmoud Badran was a "terrorist," involved in nearby stone-throwing, though they later admitted he was an "uninvolved bystander" to the incident.

Al-Khadour and Badran are among more than 220 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, many of whom were killed while carrying out individual attacks on Israeli military and settlers. Just under 30 Israelis have been killed during the unrest.

Israeli authorities meanwhile have launched a crackdown in response to the escalation, promoting a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians, which has been accused by rights groups, international leaders, and Palestinian officials of enacting a policy of "extrajudicial executions."

According to Israeli rights group B'Tselem, “There have been many reports since October of a policy permitting shoot-to-kill in incidents in which Palestinians harmed, or attempted to harm, Israeli security personnel or civilians, even when there is no clear and immediate mortal danger or if the danger can be overcome without resorting to a lethal outcome,” B’Tselem wrote.

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