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Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian woman at Qalandiya checkpoint

Dec. 30, 2016 9:55 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 30, 2016 10:30 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian woman was injured after being shot by Israeli soldiers at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, for allegedly attempting to stab Israeli soldiers Friday morning.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers opened fire at the woman who was walking towards the vehicle lane of the checkpoint.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that “an Arab ID-holder suspect" approached Israeli security forces via the vehicles’ lane. "Israeli security forces noticed her approaching with a knife in her hand. They told her to stop, but she ignored and kept walking towards them, and they shot at her.”

Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud of prisoners' rights group Addameer told Ma'an that the woman was identified as Jihan Muhammad Hashimeh, 35, from the neighborhood of al-Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem.

Locals said that Hashimeh was ill, and that she was on her way to Jerusalem for medical treatment when she entered the vehicle lane by mistake.

According to witnesses, the victim remained on the ground bleeding and screaming in pain while Israeli soldiers prevented ambulance crews from approaching her for almost an hour. She was then detained and transferred to a hospital for treatment.

The Qalandiya military checkpoint between the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and Israeli annexed East Jerusalem has been a flashpoint of violence in a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory that began in October 2015, and has left 246 Palestinians killed, the majority of whom were shot dead by Israeli forces.

During the same time period, 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians.

Six Palestinians have been killed at the Qalandiya checkpoint alone in that time period, including a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother.

Most recently, Israeli forces shot and killed Jihad Muhammad Said Khalil, 48, from the village of Beit Wazan in the West Bank district of Nablus at the checkpoint, claiming he attempted to stab soldiers. No injuries among soldiers were reported.

Throughout the unrest, rights groups have repeatedly denounced what they have termed Israeli forces' "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.

While Israel alleges many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

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