Palestinians ‘killed in cold blood’ by Israeli army near Ramallah

Khaled al-Dabbas and Basel Basbous were shot dead by Israeli soldiers north of Ramallah (Social media)

Zena al-Tahhan

Al-Jazeera  /  October 3, 2022

Family of killed Palestinian rejects Israeli army claim that the men had attempted to carry out car-ramming attack.

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinian men during a raid near the town of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

The two men were killed while in a car just outside the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah.

The Palestinian official news agency, WAFA, identified them as 18-year-old Bassel Qassem Basbous and 21-year-old Khaled Fadi Anbar.

A third, Raafat Habash, 19, was also with them in the car and was wounded in the shooting.

The bodies of the two men were taken by the Israeli army after they were killed, while Habash was arrested.

News of the killings came in at about 7am (04:00 GMT).

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said the shooting occurred outside his home.

“I heard the sound of gunfire at around 3:30am, I looked out of my window, there was a car, there were guys in it who were shot,” he told Al-Jazeera.

“The soldiers pulled them out of the car and put them on the side of the road. They were left to bleed on the ground for around 40 minutes. After that, they took their bodies.”

“The most likely scenario is that the three were surprised by the army,” the man said, adding that Israeli soldiers had been hidden from view in several locations in the area around where the men’s car had been.

The Israeli army claimed its forces were attempting to arrest a suspect in Jalazone when they suspected that the three men were planning to carry out a car-ramming attack against the soldiers.

Family members of the men killed and injured strongly deny that.

Basbous, who worked at a bakery, was one of 10 siblings, including a brother currently in an Israeli prison.

His sister Baraa said her brother had gone out with his friends to see what was going on after they had heard that the Israeli army was raiding the area.

Speaking at their family home in Jalazone, Baraa said her brother had not attacked Israeli forces.

“My brother did not do anything,” she told Al-Jazeera. “His friends called him and went out, they thought that it was not a big deal – they would just pass by and see if there were any confrontations.”

“Every young person in the camp that hears that the army is here goes out to see, even from afar,” Baraa continued. “They killed him in cold blood.”

Another sister, 37-year-old Rasha, said Basbous had spent the previous evening with her son.

“He dropped my son home at around 3am, and then he went to see what was going on after his friends called him,” Rasha told Al-Jazeera.

“The army has been raiding the camp for the past three days, and when they come they shoot indiscriminately,” she continued.

“We don’t have safety even in our own homes,” she said, adding that her home was once shot at during a raid while she was looking out the window.

“I tell anyone who says anything about Palestinians, they [the Israelis] are the ones that come at us, and we are not safe even in our own homes… they come and kill our youth with one bullet”.

The governorate of Ramallah and Al-Bireh observed a general strike on Monday, with all stores shut, in mourning of the two men.

Israel has been carrying out near-daily raids in the West Bank, largely focused on the towns of Jenin and Nablus, where new armed Palestinian groups have formed.

Some 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the 1967-occupied territories since the start of the year, including 51 in the blockaded Gaza Strip during Israel’s three-day assault in August, according to the health ministry.

Local and international rights groups have condemned what they call Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians, including suspected assailants, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Senior Israeli politicians have encouraged “Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat” according to Human Rights Watch.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has noted in reports that Israeli forces “often use firearms against Palestinians on mere suspicion or as a precautionary measure, in violation of international standards”.

In one of the most recent raids, on Thursday in a town near Bethlehem, a seven-year-old boy died after his family said he had been chased by Israeli soldiers.

The US Department of State has called for an investigation into the death of Rayyan Suleiman.

Twenty people have also been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank in 2022.

Zena al-Tahhan is Al-Jazeera English’s digital correspondent in Jerusalem


Israeli forces shoot dead two Palestinians in West Bank

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  October 3, 2022

Basel Basbous and Khaled al-Dabbas killed, and a third man wounded, after Israeli troops open fire on vehicle near Ramallah.

Two young Palestinians were shot dead and another wounded on Monday after Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

In a statement, the ministry said it had been informed of the “martyrdom of two citizens, after the occupation opened fire on them near Jalazone refugee camp,” north of Ramallah.  

Local media sources identified the young men as Basel Basbous and Khaled al-Dabbas, both from the Jalazone camp. Salama Raafat, from the town of Birzeit, was also in the vehicle and wounded during the shooting. 

The Israeli army said it had “neutralized” two “suspects”, claiming that they had “attempted to carry out a ramming attack against IDF soldiers”. 

It added that it had arrested 16 people during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.

On Saturday, Israeli forces shot dead 18-year-old Fayez Khaled Damdum in occupied East Jerusalem, during an operation in the area. 

Occupied Palestinian cities have witnessed an increase in Israeli violence in recent weeks amid heightened security measures ahead of Jewish holidays.

Israeli forces conduct near-daily raid-and-arrest operations in various parts of the West Bank, which often lead to the wounding or killing of Palestinians.

Earlier this week, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians and injured more than 40 others in a raid on the city of Jenin, in the north of the occupied West Bank. 

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 49 in the Gaza Strip and at least 100 in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The death toll in the West Bank is the highest since 2015.