Middle East Monitor / January 18, 2023
An eyewitness to the murder of a Palestinian man by Israeli soldiers told Kan News radio that the victim did not attempt to attack Forces, contrary to the Israeli army statement.
Israeli soldiers shot dead Ahmed Kahl, 45, earlier this week near the town of Silwad, based north of Ramallah, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
In his testimony, the unnamed eyewitness said that the checkpoint was tough as the Israeli soldiers were taking as long as half an hour to let a single car through.
He added that, when soldiers approached Ahmed Kahla’s car, he had complained a little regarding the long wait and, in response, the soldiers pepper-sprayed him.
He said, “When they took him out of the car he was covered in pepper spray. He couldn’t see a thing. He started moving with his arms to and fro and one of the soldiers shot him,” the witness said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military had claimed that its soldiers had spotted a “suspicious” vehicle that had refused to stop for an inspection, before a protest broke out after they tried to detain one of the occupants, who attempted to lunge for a soldier’s weapon.
His son, Qusai Kahla, told AFP he was in the car with his father when they were stopped at the checkpoint.
“Soldiers came and they sprayed pepper spray on my face and pulled me out of the car,” the 18-year-old said. “I don’t know what happened after that.”
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Kahla’s killing, and called it a “heinous execution”.
14 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli Forces barely three weeks into 2023, as this year looks set to surpass the last as the deadliest for Palestinians since records began to be taken in 2005.
Israel has carried numerous raids in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to detain what it says are “wanted Palestinians” or to demolish Palestinian homes. The raids often lead to Occupation Forces shooting and killing Palestinians.