Israeli forces kill Palestinian inside his Jerusalem home

Shatha Hammad

Middle East Eye  /  August 15, 2022

Father of 21-year-old Muhammad al-Shaham says soldiers left his son to bleed inside the house for 40 minutes before removing him.

Israeli forces fatally shot in the head a Palestinian youth, Muhammad al-Shaham, on Monday morning after they stormed his house in the Kufr Aqab neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, his family said. 

Ibrahim al-Shaham, Muhammad’s father, said his 21-year-old son was hit by a direct bullet to the head from close range and then left to bleed inside the house for about 40 minutes before he was taken for treatment by Israeli forces.

Ibrahim denied the claim made by Israeli forces that his son attempted to stab one of the officers. He told local media that officers blew open the door of the house at 3.30am and suddenly opened fire on the family.

In a statement, Israeli forces confirmed Shaham’s death at an Israeli hospital a few hours after the incident as a result of his wounds.

It added that undercover troops, who were operating in Kufr Aqab in search of weapons, were confronted by Al-Shaham family when they raided their home. It claimed that Shaham then attempted to stab one of the officers and was shot as a result. 

Footage from surveillance cameras in the area showed soldiers carrying Shaham’s body to a military vehicle after he was wounded.

Ibrahim said the shooting in front of his family was similar to other killings carried out by Israeli forces in Nablus last week

He said that the soldiers collected the casings of the bullets they had fired at his son before withdrawing from the house.

Shaham’s father also said the army searched and destroyed the contents of the house, located in Kufr Aqab, just on the border between East Jerusalem and Ramallah.  

‘Behaviour of mafias’

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Shaham’s killing, describing it as a “heinous crime” and the latest in a series of “executions and field assassinations committed by Israeli forces under instructions from the political level”.

“This is the behaviour of mafias and crime organizations which aim for cold-blooded murder without trial,” the ministry said. 

It said it would follow up the death at all levels, especially at the International Criminal Court, the Human Rights Council and other legal levels of the United Nations, in the context of its continuous efforts to put an end to Israel’s impunity for its actions.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, secretary-general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that Shaham’s killing required an urgent international investigation.

The Israeli army conducts raid-and-arrest operations on a near-daily basis in Palestinian cities and towns, which often lead to the wounding or killing of Palestinians.

More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 49 killed in the Gaza Strip and more than 81 in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

Shatha Hammad is a Palestinian freelance journalist